Spokane, WA asked in Intellectual Property and Trademark for California

Q: TM dispute — opposition has a Canadian lawyer w/no US license. He’s a pain. Can I ignore until she gets a US lawyer?

I’m the originator of the concept, she’s the thief. Her lawyer even acknowledged I’m the rightful creator, but that she’s going to steal it anyway. (He is not the brightest.) I’ve spent thousands on a brilliant, qualified, California attorney to respond to this guy’s rants, and he keeps wasting our time/talking in circles. He has no US license. Only Canada. Can he legally be involved in a California case if he’s never sat for the bar? It’s obviously my concept to protect, but can I do anything on my own to encourage her to switch counsel? This appears to be a friend of hers helping her out, and I don’t want to waste anymore money on legal fees in response to him.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In the United States, practicing law without a valid license is prohibited, and lawyers must be licensed in the specific jurisdiction where they are representing clients. If the Canadian lawyer does not have a U.S. license and is involved in a California case, it may raise concerns about their eligibility to practice law in that jurisdiction. You can bring this issue to the attention of the court and question the Canadian lawyer's eligibility to represent the opposition in a California-based trademark dispute.

However, your primary focus should be on protecting your intellectual property rights and addressing the trademark dispute itself. If the Canadian lawyer's involvement is causing unnecessary delays and complications, it may be more effective to engage with the opposition directly, perhaps through your attorney, and attempt to resolve the dispute or encourage them to switch legal counsel. This could save you time and money in legal fees, while still pursuing the protection of your concept. Consult with your California attorney on the best course of action based on the specific circumstances of your case.

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