You can start to protect your intellectual property right away. The most important for you will likely be trademarking your product names, logos, etc. You can file for federal registrations before you ship your first bottle, or you can do it after you've been in business for years, or anywhere between there. There are, of course, business reasons why you'd want to do it earlier or later.
Benton R Patterson III's answer An attorney would need to know much more than just the two names to answer this questions. There are a variety of factors to consider, such as the similarity of products and how the two marks are presented to consumers. It is also important to know who used the mark first and what is claimed in any applicable registrations. Before proceeding with the name, you should speak with a trademark attorney.
Michael Gerity's answer 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 wait until the application gets published for opposition, and then file an opposition with the Patent & Trademark Office.
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Kevin E. Flynn's answer There are a lot of people that are pretty unclear on the difference between patents, trademarks, and copyrights.
I cannot see a way for John Deere to own generic images of tractors under a utility patent. They could chase protection for a particular way their actual tractor (or a toy tractor) looks under a design patent for a limited time (15 years). They can seek trademark protection. One can seek protection for a distinctive color when used for a particular product. This is rare...
Benton R Patterson III's answer Filing a trademark application is easy and inexpensive. Expect a $275 fee to the government and a small amount of professional time to prepare the application. The more expensive and complicated part of the trademark application process is responding to the government attorney's legal arguments about your proposed trademark and analyzing potentially conflicting trademarks. An attorney would need to review your proposed trademark to estimate the cost to prosecute the application. Generally, I...
Will Blackton's answer Did you receive an initial response from the USPTO (usually within about three months of your original application)? It can take a year to a year and a half before your trademark registration is completed.
I would encourage you to find out the status of the application you've already filed, before seeking an attorney to assist you file an application for the same trademark.
Reach out to 2-3 attorneys, who do free consultations, via the "find a lawyer" function at the top of...
Kevin Christopher's answer There are common law (i.e. state law) protections available when a name or logo has been used in conjunction with a business activity before it is officially registered or an application made for registration. These rights would in most cases supersede a new application. Also, the individual could have difficulty establishing support for the trademark if not actually engaging in whatever services or sales of goods that trademark application indicates.
Kevin Christopher's answer Possibly, so long as the good and service are not confusingly similar to the average Joe. You might also be able to vary the mark by stylizing the name of the good in the creation of your logo, providing more grounds for a successful application.
Will Blackton's answer Have you filed for copyright protection for the image? If so, it's likely that an attorney would assist you for a portion of any money recovered from the person infringing. Filing for copyright protection for a single work of visual art is $35, it's $55 to file for multiple works. Determine who owns the rights to this logo, you or your client, before filing for protection.
Consult with an attorney if you have additional questions about the process.
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