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21 Essential Steps When Starting a Business

Starting your own business can be one of the greatest joys in life.  But for first-time entrepreneurs it can be an endeavor filled with unexpected challenges and potential pitfalls.  It’s more than just opening a store or posting a web site and beginning to sell your goods or services.  It is complying with legal requirements, obtaining financing, and […]

3 Reasons to Protect Your Trademarks Now

Yes, I’m a lawyer. But I promise (Scout’s honor) that you can trust what I’m about to tell you: Your business needs to protect its trademarks. You may be saying to yourself, “Look at this attorney trying to drum up more business for himself and his brethren attorneys. How original.” But my motivation is steeped […]

How to Analyze a Trademark Cease and Desist Letter Like a Pro

The mail comes and you notice a letter from a law firm you don’t recognize.  You open the letter hoping for the best but fearing the worst.  The letter begins “We represent the ABC Company in the protection of their intellectual property rights.  It has recently come to our client’s attention that you are using a trademark […]

5 Unusual Things You Should Trademark

Grand chocolatier Nestle recently won a trademark battle with rival confectioner Cadbury.  The case was about the unique shape of Nestle’s famed Kit Kat bar. The case began years ago when Nestle sought to register the four-fingered shape of the Kit Kat bar as a trademark in the European Union (EU). In 2002, the Office […]

Trademark Renewal: How to Keep Your Trademark Registered Forever

Trademarks can last forever.  Unlike patents and copyrights, trademarks are not limited to a set term of years.  That being said, a common misconception concerning trademarks is that once registered they last forever and do not need to be renewed.  This is not the case.  All trademark holders must realize that to keep their federal […]

3 Simple Steps to Avoiding IP Disputes

It happens all the time.  An entrepreneur starts a business, with the perfect name, brand, and domain. They set up a fan page on Facebook. Then they organize the entity, pouring time and resources into the project. And then, the unthinkable happens. A cease and desist letter arrives in the mailbox, demanding they stop what they’re […]

Trademark Enforcement for the Small Business

Trademarks serve to identify the source of your goods and services.  From time to time, however, others will seek to benefit from your hard work in developing your brand.  How?  They use a trademark that is confusingly similar to yours and then, borrowing on the good will you have built in your brand, begin to steal […]