Friday, September 28, 2007

Exciting Changes at TradeMark Express

There have been a number of changes at TradeMark Express lately that I wanted to take this opportunity to detail them here for our blog readers.

First, we dropped our fees $50 on August 14th from $600 to $550. This is our first price reduction in 15 years! I want to reassure our clients & potential clients that a price drop does not mean a drop in services by any means. Our clients are getting the same great service they've been getting since 1992 – comprehensive research, analysis, referral to a trademark attorney and preparation & submission of their Federal trademark application. We were able to justify and absorb that price drop by streamlining some of our internal processes so who better to pass that on to than our clients!

Second, we implemented a payment plan program. TradeMark Express® understands the many expenses new business owners face; we also know how necessary comprehensive research and analysis is prior to filing. To help our clients, we have three different payment options:

$550 Our Best Deal!
$285 per month for two months = $570
$195 per month for three months = $585

Third, before TradeMark Express® conducts the comprehensive research, we will do a FREE check for the exact name at the USPTO. If there is a Conflict, we will call to inform you so you may provide us with your 2nd choice name.

That's the latest on what's going on with TradeMark Express. If you have any questions about anything outlined here, please feel free to contact me via email.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

What is a Trademark Conflict?

What is a Trademark Similarity?

Comprehensive trademark research consists of several layers:

The hardest matter to determine is what's going to be a potential problem for you and what isn't. Once that is ascertained, further research into the company or companies is needed.

First, let's discuss the difference between conflicts and strong similarities.

What is a Conflict?

Determining a conflict is very simple - it's any mark that is EXACTLY like yours. If the name AND the goods/services are EXACTLY the same, then it's a Conflict.

What is a Strong Similarity?

These are harder to determine and require analysis. A Strong Similarity is a name that is similar enough in Sound, Appearance or Meaning to be confusingly similar to the average consumer. Here are some examples to aid you:

Joe has a pending Federal trademark for his auto detailing service called It's in the Details. Becky wants to call her new auto detailing service, It is the Details. They are both offering the same service and their trade areas cross. This is a Strong Similarity, based on Sound & Appearance and Joe's pending Federal application.

Mary has a Federally registered trademark for her clothing line, Scary Mary's Apparel. Dan wants to use the name Mary Frightful Wear for his clothing line. This is a Strong Similarity, based on Meaning & Mary's Federal registration.

Sam has a California state registered trademark for his restaurant, Crabtastic Eats! and has no plans to expand outside of the state and primarily serves locals. Hannah's restaurant, Crabtastic, is located in Maine. She also has no plans to expand outside of the state and primarily serves locals. This is NOT a Strong Similarity based on their different trade areas.

Lorena's online payroll service, Pay Up, has been in use for 15 years and has clients across the country. Gene wants to start an online payroll service called Wage Wizard. Neither of them have trademarks. This is NOT a Strong Similarity based on the dissimilarity in the names.

Two important notes:

It's crucial that comprehensive research be conducted in order to decide if the name is truly available or not. Free preliminary sites found on the web are a great place to start but please be aware that this is merely scratching the surface of what's out there.

Determining what is a conflict or a strong similarity requires experience and it is very easy to over or under-react to marks you've found. If you're vacillating about any marks, contact a trademark research firm or an attorney for further consultation.

Friday, September 21, 2007

USPTO Putting on an Expo

"The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will host a showcase for trademarks at its Alexandria, Virginia headquarters April 10-12, 2008. The three day event is designed to engage the public’s interest and educate consumers about the vital role trademarks play in the global economy. Any company with a registered trademark may apply to exhibit. The deadline for applications is December 15, 2007."

Want to sign up to be considered? Click here

Read more about the expo here

Read more about trademarks here

Thursday, September 20, 2007

We'll Be Back Soon

Work has been very busy as of late so unfortunately, our blog's one of the first things to be shoved to the back burner. But we will be back soon!