Can product design (shape) be trademarked?

Can 3D product designs be trademarked? Trademarks are commonly known as names and logos. It may surprise you to learn that three-dimensional product shapes (aka product configurations), designs and features may also be registered as trademarks if they help to indicate source and do not serve any functional purposes. What is the test for registering […]

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What is a Flat Rate Start-to-Finish Trademark Application?

What is a flat rate start-to-finish trademark application? For trademarks that meet certain requirements, our firm offers a fixed fee for filing a trademark application and prosecuting the application from initial filing to registration. While each IP firm is different, our flat rate start-to-finish trademark application package is offered for marks that meet the following […]

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Who is the trademark owner?

Who is the trademark owner? It’s not uncommon for first-time trademark applicants to raise questions concerning ownership of the trademark. In a trademark application, should the applicant be identified as an individual or a company? The answer depends upon who will ultimately control the quality of the goods or services. In most cases, it would […]

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When does a trademark registration expire?

Why don’t trademarks expire? Trademarks differ from patents in at least one critical way: trademarks can last indefinitely while patents must expire. Keep in mind that patents involve an exchange of information (from inventors) for exclusivity (from government). Trademarks do not involve such an exchange. Instead, trademarks serve to indicate the source of a product […]

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What are acceptable trademark specimens of use?

What is a trademark specimen of use? Trademarks do not exist in vacuums. One cannot simply register a mark without reference to specific goods or services sold under the mark. Generally, an applicant has to provide the USPTO with current examples of how the mark is used in the sale of the specific products and/or services identified […]

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How to describe goods and services in a trademark application

A Trademark Must Be Tied to a Product or Service Trademarks do not exist in a vacuum. A trademark must always be tied to particular goods or services offered or sold under the mark. You can’t trademark words in the abstract. So when you hear about a celebrity trademarking a phrase, the phrase or slogan must be […]

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Can I apply to register one trademark, but use a different mark?

Registration vs. Use This question relates to two separate issues – registration vs. use – and the answer depends upon what one is really asking. While there is no prohibition against using a mark that is different from the one applied for, such usage might not support the trademark application. Showing use of the mark […]

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What is trademark use in commerce?

To establish trademark rights in the U.S., a trademark owner must be the first to use a mark in commerce on particular goods or services.  In a trademark application for federal protection, the USPTO will ask for the date the mark was first used anywhere, and the date the mark was first used in commerce, […]

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What are inherently distinctive vs. merely descriptive trademarks?

When you’re contemplating a name for your new business or product line, it’s common sense to avoid words that are too close to an existing trademark used for similar goods or services. However, likelihood of confusion is not the only factor to consider when adopting a new trademark. You should also consider the inherent distinctiveness of […]

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What are substantive vs. non-substantive trademark Office Actions?

What is a non-substantive trademark Office Action? Non-substantive trademark Office Actions are letters issued by USPTO examining attorneys that do not necessarily refuse registration of the mark. Such Office Actions typically do not require significant legal research or argument. For example, any of the following reasons may lead to a non-substantive Office Action (what I […]

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