Not Just Patents®
Refused Does Not Necessarily Mean That You Have to Abandon Your Mark
All the facts are important when a trademark owner gets a refusal. Sorting out the facts requires experience and knowledge. Answering your trademark refusal may be the first step in strengthening your trademark rights and Not Just Patents Legal Services wants to help you step forward. When we talk with people who have already gotten quotes from other firms, the money saved by working with us instead of some others may be hundreds of dollars.
Usually it doesn’t stop at answering the refusal. Most of our clients go on to register additional stronger marks with us. Registration of new strong trademarks puts you in a legal position to stop trademark hostage takers by using federal help and help from the policies of Google, Facebook, Twitter, domain name registrars, web site hosts and others whose policies favor USPTO registered marks. Infringement, dilution, and cybersquatting can all hurt your business when someone interferes with your rights. A weak mark is a much narrower shield from harm and can be difficult to enforce. We usually look at a client’s web site to look for other registrable material. Sometimes blocking a competitor from being higher than you on a Google result requires more strategy and more ammunition than one weak trademark can provide especially a trademark that has just been refused for a weakness that will continue even after the office action is answered.
Support: The Strength of your trademark depends not just on the selection of an inherently strong mark but also how you use the mark on your products and services (how it is perceived), and the existence of competing uses of other, similar marks. Visa Intern. Service Ass'n v. Eastern Financial Federal Credit Union, 967 F.2d 596 (C.A.9 (Cal.), 1992). Using your mark is an valid manner supports its strength. Designing advertising with trademark strength in mind not only makes your trademark stronger but can also improve your search engine scores. We help support our clients by reviewing web sites and advertising to assure that trademarks are being used in a sustainable and valid manner.
Once registered, we can help you to support, sustain and build your trademark rights.
Security: Correctly identifying existing and potential threats and strategizing how to combat these threats before you apply for federal registration puts your registration in order to stand up to hostage takers or attacks. Simply filling out a form with not enough knowledge of the law and strategy may get a registration that will not stand up to even the smallest threat or may result in no registration at all! (Only 30% of trademark applications have no office actions and refusals. Many result in abandonment with the current rate of abandonment running at about 41% of applications.)
Rescue: Is someone else, a newcomer to the market, using your trademark? If someone is holding your trademark hostage at the USPTO, in Google or Yahoo advertising, on Twitter, on Facebook, in their domain name, or somewhere else where it hurts you, we can help! Rescuing your trademark may involve an opposition or cancellation proceeding, a letter of protest, sending cease and desist letters and following them up with appropriate actions. A rescue may involve fighting someone who is inappropriately trying to make you stop use a mark that you have rights in. Just because someone wants you to stop does not always means that they have the right to stop you, some trademark owners regularly send out cease and desist letters that are unenforceable trying to intimidate smaller competitors into relinquishing their good will.
Minimize Problems and Maximize Property Value: Sometime losing a trademark means losing a lot of goodwill and business. Sometimes losing a trademark is better than losing a lot of money in legal fees or damages. Knowing what battles are worth fighting can make a difference to being able to stay in business. Choosing a trademark that is unique and inherently strong can minimize future challenges and build goodwill that is uniquely yours rather than divided up amongst all the others with similar sounding names.
PLAN FOR A SUCCESSFUL, STRONG TRADEMARK APPLICATION BY PREPARING IN ADVANCE OF APPLYING
See Why Should I Have A Not Just Patents Trademark Attorney Answer My Office Action if you have already applied and been refused.
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