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Questions Answered by Michael Gerity
2 Answers | Asked in Trademark for Georgia on
Q: My trademark is labeled “dead” how to I make it active again?
Michael Gerity
Michael Gerity answered on May 7, 2018

A trademark can be marked as "dead" for a variety of reasons. If it is dead because the application or registration was abandoned, then there is no way to revive an abandoned federal trademark application, at least once the various grace periods have expired. The only option is to file a... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Trademark for Florida on
Q: Hi. I did a trademark on "Phonyisms" and I think it has expired. What is the cost to get it active again> Thanks.
Michael Gerity
Michael Gerity answered on May 4, 2018

Hello. There is no way to revive an abandoned federal trademark application, at least once the various grace periods have expired. The only option is to file a completely new application.

***Please not the important disclaimers set forth at the bottom of this page.***

2 Answers | Asked in Trademark for Florida on
Q: How long does the trademark application and registration process usually take? Is it possible to expedite it?
Michael Gerity
Michael Gerity answered on May 3, 2018

Hello. The average length of time for a federal trademark application from filing date to final disposition (be that registration or denial) was 9.8 months as of last June, according to the US Patent and Trademark Office. There are a number of things that can influence this number dramatically,... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Arizona on
Q: Can I use 'Bea Honeywell' as a stage name when there's a company called 'Honeywell'?

It's a burlesque performer name.

Michael Gerity
Michael Gerity answered on Apr 4, 2018

A trademark provides protection for a name, logo, slogan, etc., as it is used in conjunction with the sale of particular products and/or services. It is quite possible to have multiple trademarks that are the same or similar coexisting in the market, as long as there is no reasonable likelihood of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Trademark for Arizona on
Q: Can I be sued for making shirts of a cactus person? Someone claims to have a trademark for a similar character

How can I know if they truly have a trademark/copyright? Can one single person own the concept of animal/plant heads on human bodies?

Michael Gerity
Michael Gerity answered on Apr 4, 2018

Understand that, in order to have viable trademark rights, either at the state or federal level, the user of a particular mark does not actually have to register their mark. This, then, makes it somewhat difficult for you to know the scope of any rights they may or may not have. If they actually... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Trademark for California on
Q: Hi there, what is the process to change the owner of a current Trademark?
Michael Gerity
Michael Gerity answered on Apr 4, 2018

In order to change the owner of an existing trademark, the usual process is to prepare an assignment agreement. The assignment agreement then has to be recorded with the US Patent and Trademark Office. However, be VERY careful when attempting to assign an active trademark. If you do not transfer... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Arizona on
Q: Copyright question: can I copyright a clever word combination to apply on mugs, caps, sweatshirts, etc.?

It would not be a product line, but simply applied to existing products that I would buy at wholesale, then resell at retail. The appeal would be in the applique, more than on the vehicle that carries it.

Michael Gerity
Michael Gerity answered on Apr 1, 2018

What you are describing is best protected with trademark, not copyright. You are describing selling products with a particular name/phrase/slogan attached to them, which is precisely what trademarks protect. The fact that you buy the products from a vendor doesn't change it because, as you say,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Trademark on
Q: Hello, we just find out that someone else filled a trademark for a name and product we use. How to get trademark on us?

We created a company, registered domains and created a product in December 2017. After the expo we attended in January 2018, someone filled a trademark with our name of product under same class section. They do not own any product. They just filled a trademark, I guess to mess with us and try to... Read more »

Michael Gerity
Michael Gerity answered on Mar 21, 2018

When somebody files an improper application for a trademark, there are several options for handling. The first is usually to make a formal demand that they abandon their application. If that doesn't work, then an opposition can be filed during the publication period near the end of their... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Trademark on
Q: What is the best entity to help obtain a trademark?

I have an idea. I want to trademark it. Build it. Sell it. Be comfortable.

Michael Gerity
Michael Gerity answered on Mar 21, 2018

Hello. When you talk about protecting an "idea" that you want to "build," that sounds a bit like you are talking about something that would need a patent, not a trademark. Patents can protect ideas, inventions, etc. Trademarks are words, slogans, logos, images, etc. that are used in conjunction... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Trademark for Florida on
Q: Should I file for trademark registration before my company officially launches our new product?
Michael Gerity
Michael Gerity answered on Mar 20, 2018

If you are speaking about a federal trademark registration, you are generally required to wait until you are actually using the mark in commerce before filing for federal registration. You CAN file what is called an intent to use application before you actually start using it, but the purpose of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Banking, Business Law, Civil Litigation and Contracts for Arizona on
Q: We are representing ourselves in a litigation case against a home servicing company.

We are at the stage of opposing side asking to dismiss. The judge denied their request 3 times, One of the approved was the Breach of Contract to include a few other charges. I now need to follow up doing a rebuttal I believe it is called to the ones that the apposing side has defended requesting... Read more »

Michael Gerity
Michael Gerity answered on Mar 16, 2018

Hello. I hate to say it, but this goes WAY beyond the kind of legal advice you should be seeking on an online question and answer forum. It's not really even clear whether you are the plaintiff or defendant, and it's nearly impossible to address issues relating to dismissal without a full... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Arizona on
Q: What will happen to my estate should I die without a will
Michael Gerity
Michael Gerity answered on Mar 12, 2018

When a person dies in Arizona without a will, they are considered "intestate." The estate is then divided up according to a set of rules set by statute, with a hierarchy of who gets what based upon the familial relationship (wife, kids, grandkids, parents, siblings, etc). If married, the Arizona... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Q: What is risk of trademark infringement if I file DBA for AKME and a company with trademark exists for ACME?

There are trademarks by both large tech company in unrelated industry, and also a trademark by company in the same industry selling similar products.

Michael Gerity
Michael Gerity answered on Mar 6, 2018

Short answer: yes. The rule for analyzing infringement is to first correct any spelling errors or unusual spellings before doing the analysis. So, for example, "shooze" would first be converted to "shoes," and "2legit" would be converted to "too legit." When two words are homophones (i.e. they... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation and Business Law for Arizona on
Q: Dissolving my LLC

I have just received my LLC documents from legalzoom, i haven't signed any of them. Can i dissolve my llc without signing the documents because signing them is impossible, both my 2 other members live abroad. I did this mistake without knowing they must be US citizens. Can i dissolve my LLC... Read more »

Michael Gerity
Michael Gerity answered on Feb 9, 2018

Hello. You are experiencing first hand why these cut-rate online legal services are such a huge problem (and, I should add, how attorneys who do this kind of work often end up getting a fair amount of business trying to clean up all of the problems caused by these services.

Anyway, I'd be...
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2 Answers | Asked in Trademark for Texas on
Q: Im confused on whether my trademark is approved or if its still pending?
Michael Gerity
Michael Gerity answered on Feb 8, 2018

If you are talking about a federal trademark registration with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, understand that the process usually takes around a year or more. When you go to the USPTO website (www.USPTO.gov) you can search for your mark and it will show the status there. What you want to see... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Trademark for Minnesota on
Q: We would like to use "Born to Sparkle!" on a shirt for a fundraiser. "Born to Sparkle" without the "!" is registered.

Would this be okay?

Michael Gerity
Michael Gerity answered on Feb 7, 2018

The pertinent question to ask when analyzing possible trademark infringement is whether or not there would be a reasonable likelihood of confusion between the two marks. So, ask yourself if leaving off the exclamation point would make it so a potential customer would not be confused that your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Trademark for California on
Q: Hello My question is regarding foreign trademark...can foreign company sue if they have no US trademark?

I launched a business recently for a health product, I have been active on social media, etc. I only market to the US, Latin America and Canada. I am filing for a trademark with the USTPO. I got a message from some Nigerian company that sells a product with the same name in Nigeria. Apparently they... Read more »

Michael Gerity
Michael Gerity answered on Feb 7, 2018

The one thing you need to keep in mind is that, while registration is important, the rights to a trademark arise from the actual use of a mark in commerce in conjunction with particular goods and/or services. As such, you will need to be careful to determine whether or not they are using their... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark on
Q: Trademark Infringement

Hi, i just received a infringement letter for selling bags similar to (kate-kid-sten). I brought them from Taobao and sell online. I sold about 30 bags over 2 years at the price of approx. $26 each bag. I call up and met with their lawyer and he told me I've to sign a undertaking and pay a fine... Read more »

Michael Gerity
Michael Gerity answered on Feb 7, 2018

That's a lot for the actual damages involved. What state are you in? I've handled a lot of IP infringement cases (on both the plaintiff's side and the defendant's), and we usually work out more favorable settlements than that.

***Please note the important disclaimers at the bottom of this...
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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Products Liability and Trademark for Tennessee on
Q: How can I stop a trademark that someone has made that isn’t theirs to trademark?
Michael Gerity
Michael Gerity answered on Feb 1, 2018

If a person has a legitimate basis for objecting to a trademark application filed by another, there are a couple of approaches that can be pursued. One is to contact the other applicant and attempt them to abandon the application based upon whatever basis there is for objection. Another is to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Trademark on
Q: When is a Trademark official? Could someone get in trouble for using a Trademarked word before the registration date?
Michael Gerity
Michael Gerity answered on Jan 22, 2018

Understand that the actual rights to a trademark arise from the first actual USE of the mark in commerce in conjunction with goods and/or services. Registration then provides a large set of enhanced rights and options for enforcement, but it is the actual use that triggers the initial rights. As... Read more »

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