Category Archives: Trademarks

Four legal issues in your crowdfunding campaign.

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You are a creative entrepreneur with a massive vision expanding every day. Some of your friends have run successful crowdfunding campaigns for their businesses and you’ve wondered if you should do the same. Before President Obama signed the JOBS Act in 2012, you could only give your crowdfunded investors (or backers) rewards. You know? A signed t-shirt. An autographed print. Limited edition tote bag. Now, with the JOBS Act, Title III equity crowdfunding rules approved by the Securities and Exchange



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Why you should hire a Trademark Attorney + the real cost of DIYing your trademark.

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If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you probably understand just how important it is that you own the trademarks for your brand. You may be toying with the idea of just handling it yourself. You’ve searched Google for identical brands. You’ve searched the United States Patent and Trademark Office website for your brand name. You’ve peeked at the trademark application and it looks simple enough. Plus, you have friends who’ve told you how easy it is and that



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How do you protect your trademarks when collaborating with someone else?

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As a creative entrepreneur, you are probably exploring collaborations and partnerships with other peeps. These collabs are likely to manifest in the form of: A signature event (or event series) A workshop A web series A podcast Or maybe you’ve decided to partner up more long term and actually form a business with someone. Either way, one of the first topics you should address is…. *Insert drum roll* “Who owns the name?” Yep. How do you protect your trademarks when collaborating



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What is a trademark clearance + why you absolutely must have one.

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There are two very important (read: equally as important) steps in the trademark process. The first step is the trademark clearance, and second is the trademark registration. Usually, when peeps DIY their trademark registrations, they skip the first part. That’s why we are going to discuss it here. What is a trademark clearance? A trademark clearance is a full review of common law (unregistered) trademarks, pending and abandoned trademark applications, and existing and expired trademarks to determine if there are



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What is the one big trademark secret that these 20 big brands know and you don’t?

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The most common trademark mistake I’ve seen is businesses giving their products or services descriptive names. For example, Chicago’s Best Cleaning Company would be considered descriptive. From a marketing perspective, it makes sense. But from a trademark perspective, this is a no-no. Why? Businesses can’t register a federal trademark for a brand name that’s merely descriptive. The only exception is that sometimes businesses may be able to register the trademark after five years of massive investment in marketing and advertising.



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