Thursday, October 25, 2007

A lot of us here at TradeMark Express have loved ones in Southern California & with all that's going on down there, well, talking about trademarks doesn't feel too important this week.

However, I did want to take advantage of this forum & share some links offering further information.

I've been glued to the LA Times Google map - it seems to be updated rather frequently.

The Google blog has a great list of the different fire maps available.

National Interagency Fire Center

The American Red Cross Safe & Well List

American Red Cross Donation page

Many, many good thoughts & wishes to all affected. Also, many, many, many THANKS to those helping down there.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Specimens: Not Just for Guys in White Coats Anymore

Picking up where we left off on Tuesday, I think it'd be a good idea to start with, well, starting. I recommend anyone looking into starting a clothing line to check out PowerHomeBiz's article about that very subject.

Okay, let's assume that you're at the trademark stage for your clothing line: you've had comprehensive research conducted; the analysis on the research has been done; and (yay!) your name is clear. Now the next step is filing for the Federal trademark.

Part of the USPTO application process involves sending the Federal government proof of how the mark is used whether it's used for goods or for services. The USPTO calls this the specimen.

I'll devote the rest of the post explaining specimens as a whole. Next week, we'll get into specimens as they pertain to the clothing industry.

Okay, first, what is a specimen? While it sounds very laboratory-ish, it's really not too complicated. Basically, the USPTO needs to see a real-world example of how your mark is used for the goods and/or services.

If you're selling goods (aka products), the specimen must be "a tag or label for the goods; a container for the goods; a display associated with the goods; or a photograph of the goods that shows use of the mark on the goods."

If you're selling services, the specimen must be "a sign; a brochure about the services; an advertisement for the services; a business card or stationery showing the mark in connection with the services; or a photograph showing the mark as used in rendering or advertising the services."

For either goods or services, it must have two important things: (1) the mark and (2) it's gotta be OBVIOUS what the goods and/or services are just by looking/reading the specimen.

Let's look at some examples to illustrate this:

1) You've got a name & a logo that you're using for your cosmetics line. To provide proof to the USPTO of your mark's use, you could submit a picture of a tag that's attached to a tangible product. Take a look at Sephora's specimen, which illustrates this perfectly.

2) You've got a name that you're using for your online retail store services. To provide proof to the USPTO of your mark's use, you could submit a screen shot of your web site. Take a look at's specimen.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Trademark Your Clothing Line

Easily one of the biggest industries we serve over at
TradeMark Express is the clothing industry. Because of that, I thought it was high time to devote a few posts to the different facets of filing for a trademark for your clothing line.

The first subject should definitely be explaining what branches of intellectual property are available for the various items that typically make up a clothing line.

Copyrights, specifically a Visual Art Works filing:

Any artwork/images displayed on the garments themselves, e.g. front of a t-shirt

Fabric designs

Patterns for sewing
Weaving or lace designs


The name of your clothing line

The logo for your clothing line

I'll get into further detail about these subjects as well as others that are particular to clothing in the coming days.

If you have a specific question you'd like answered about trademarks & the clothing industry, please feel free to
contact me via email

Thursday, October 04, 2007

How to Protect Your Great Idea

It is not possible to protect ideas but rather the representation of that idea. To protect an original invention OR a significant improvement to an existing product, a patent would be filed. Click here for the USPTO's definition.

NOLO is a great, free informational site. Also, be sure to read what else the USPTO (United States Patent & Trademark Office) has to say about patents.

Associations may be a good avenue to explore. These organizations will address many of the thoughts, questions and concerns you'll inevitably have as well as many you haven't anticipated yet.

International Federation of Inventors' Associations
United Inventors Association
Directory of Local USA & Canada Groups

Research, research, research – this cannot be stressed enough. Read as much as you can. Check out the Amazon Widget to the right for recommended books.
There are plenty of free informational resources out there.

Check out these articles:

Patent – How to Get One by Michael Russell
Invented Something? Get a Patent by Thomas Choo
How to Select a Patent Attorney by Lisa Parmley
How to Patent Your Invention by Neil Armand Can You Start Selling Your Invention Before Patenting It? by Xavier Pillai
Invention Help…Don't Get Scammed! by Emmet Press
Inventors: Make Sure Your Invention is a Success! by Lisa Parmley

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Any Sims ® Fans Out There?

Looks like we'll have yet another expansion pack to look forward to - The Sims Carnival.

Electronic Arts ® has filed a Federal trademark application with the USPTO for what looks to be the seventh expansion pack in the popular series. The application was filed on September 14th, 10 days after the release of the latest expansion pack Bon Voyage.