"AWESOME SERVICE! I contacted [Attorney Frazier] regarding a trademark matter that was already in progress . . . . She saved me THOUSANDS of dollars and countless hours of my time. We hired her for another project and through her expertise, we uncovered some gaps in our current intellectual property protection. She was able to make the process smooth and easy to understand.
Professional and very thorough!"
~ Randy Williams - Founder & CEO of Talley & Twine Watch Company
"[Attorney Frazier] has been phenomenal as I have navigated through the world of copyright and trademarking. I have felt completely at ease as she has explained options, recommended courses of actions, but also given me the driver's seat to ultimately make the best decisions for my brand. I cannot recommend The Gervin Frazier Law Firm highly enough!"
~ Dr. Kimberlie Harris - Founder & CEO of PHraseD, LLC and PHraseD, Jr., LLC
"Attorney Frazier was & is very instrumental in representing & assisting me in getting my trademark filed. She is such an amazing attorney, very knowledgeable, professional, trustworthy & kind! You will not find anyone better! She really knows the law & will leave no stone unturned in getting results for you.
I look forward to continuing working with her on another very important matter!
Thank you Attorney Frazier for all that you do! God Bless."
~ Venetia Coleman - CEO of Pascher Collection, LLC
Not exactly, and this is a common misunderstanding among many business owners. It is important to distinguish the difference between an official business name and a brand name. An official business name is the name your company uses on all official documents and communications regarding your business (e.g., tax filings, business licenses, government applications, etc.). Your brand name is the name your company uses to identify your products or services in the marketplace. Business names and brand names can be the same in some instances, but not all.
State business registration offices do not cross-check name use availability against the USPTO’s trademark registration database, other states’ registration databases, or any other databases before granting authorization to use an official business name.
Thus, you can still be infringing on someone else’s trademark rights by using your business name as your brand name in the marketplace—despite receiving authorization from the Secretary of State’s office to register your business name.
Extensive trademark clearance searches are the only way to ensure that your business name is legally available for you to use in the marketplace in connection with your products and services.
As a startup business ourselves, we know very well how quickly the costs of starting/running a business can add up! You may very well believe that you simply cannot afford to begin the trademark registration process at this time. But the reality is that you probably can't afford NOT to undergo the trademark process. Countless small businesses have had to completely rebrand or dissolve their businesses altogether because they did not obtain exclusive rights to use their brand name(s) and logos. (Basically, the copycats took over to a point where customers were confused, and it became financially impossible for the small business owners to rein the copycats back in.)
Countless other small businesses have had to completely rebrand or dissolve their businesses altogether because they learned the hard way that they were infringing on someone else's trademark rights (hello cease and desist letters and lawsuits!).
The costs of rebranding and/or shutting down are typically more expensive than undergoing the trademark registration process.
As a business owner, so many unexpected things will be thrown at you from left field that will be completely out of your control. This is NOT one of them. Give your business the peace of mind and confidence to grow because you know your status!
While running a quick Google search or basic/natural language search on the trademark office's website is a good start to figuring out whether your EXACT proposed brand name may be taken or not, these searches are just the tip of the iceberg. A much more extensive Boolean search is needed to truly determine if your brand name is available for you to use. Additional, several platforms outside the USPTO's database must be researched to conduct a thorough clearance search. Moreover, the test for trademark infringement is NOT whether two brands are exactly the same. The standard is whether the names, logos, etc. are confusingly similar--which is determined by case law and other trademark rules. Working with a knowledgeable attorney to ensure that your name, logo, etc. is available for use is critical.
As the old saying goes, "You usually get what you pay for!"
Frankly, there are countless law firms and document filing companies who have no real training, skills, or expertise in trademark law that offer trademark application services at very low prices. This can be extremely attractive to entrepreneurs and small businesses who are already strapped for cash. Unfortunately, many of these services simply collect information from you, haphazardly fill out the trademark application form (which, frankly, you could have done yourself), submit it, and hope that the application makes it through to registration (which it often DOES NOT).
At The Gervin Frazier Law Firm, LLC, you get a trusted advisor who has deep knowledge of trademark law and experience working with household name clients for over a decade. While the trademark application process may appear to be "just a form," the completed form must pass several very strict tests under trademark law to be granted registration. For example, certain brand names do not even qualify for trademark protection to begin with, and those applications will be rejected quickly at the trademark office. You need an experienced trademark attorney who can advise on these kinds of issues and help you strategize on ways to protect your brand.
The bottom line is that if your trademark application doesn't contain the right information, then the "low price" you paid to have the application completed simply becomes a donation to whomever you paid the price to. And you walk away with nothing to show for it.
Let us serve as your knowledgeable, experienced, trusted advisor and make sure your trademark application process is done right . . . the first time around! While we cannot make any guarantees regarding the approval of your trademark registration, our track record speaks for itself.
While we know it can be jarring to receive a cease and desist letter, don't panic. You should never simply ignore a cease and desist letter, as this will not make it go away. Consult with an experienced trademark as soon as possible before responding to the letter. We would be happy to help!
This is definitely a tough blow for any business owner. But as with many things, taking a deep breath and resisting the urge to respond in a knee-jerk manner helps. After you have gathered yourself, consult with an experienced trademark attorney before responding to the impersonators. We would be happy to help!
The trademark process is a lengthy one, and it takes 12-15 months, on average, from beginning to end. Unfortunately, there is no "rush service" or other alternative to speed up the process. So, don't delay!
The Gervin Frazier Law Firm, LLC
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