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How to Find a Great Patent Attorney in Atlanta

How to Find a Great Patent Attorney in Atlanta

Small law firms focusing exclusively on intellectual property often
provide the best attention and service for filing patent and trademark applications.

Look for a patent attorney trademark attorney who has his/her own inventions, issued patents, trademarks or who has participated in starting a new business.

Patent Lawyers are subject matter specific based on their technical degree(s) earned in college. Look for an Attorney with a technical degree that matches your idea invention, such as electrical engineering, computer science, software, physics, biology, biochemistry, chemistry, or mechanical engineering, etc.

Work experience creates subject matter expertise.  Look for a patent lawyer who has relevant work experience to your idea invention.

Call Mat Grell for a Free patent consultation 678-202-5990.

US Patent and Trademark logo

To search the US Patent & Trademark Office for a Patent Attorney near you click the link below or visit US Patent Office and search for “OED Patent Attorney/Agent Search.” Next enter your city/state or zip code into the USPTO search engine and the engine will generate a list of Attorney/Agents near you. Use the criteria above to find a Patent Lawyer right for you. Search to find a US Patent Lawyer Search

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Can I use crowdfunding success to register a trademark?

 

Like many things in the law, it depends.

Many successful businesses start after raising capital for an initial promising product via crowdfunding. As you may already know, sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo offer prospective entrepreneurs the ability to market an idea for a product, service, or business to potential “microinvestors”, who might be promised rewards at various levels of contribution levels. So someone who invests in a new board game might receive a first edition version of that game if the project is successfully funded. In comparison to more traditional forms of entrepreneurialism, instead of equity in the business in exchange for their investment, funders or backers tend to receive products or services related to the upstart business.

Yancey Strickler, co-founder of Kickstarter | [Photos from t… | Flickr

Photo Courtesy of Rex Hammock via Flickr

Since some of those backers are promised they’ll receive a product in exchange for their investment, clients often ask if their crowdfunding campaign alone can be used in their trademark application. Whether we’re filing a use-based application under 1(a) or a specimen showing use in an allowed 1(b) application, we want to make sure our specimen will be accepted before we file a specimen showing use. If a specimen is determined to be inadequate, an applicant might have no choice but to re-file their application. That’s why it’s important to make sure a specimen will work before we submit it to the USPTO.

Any time we’re concerned about a specimen showing use, the first question should always be: Does the mark appear in connection with the goods or services we’re registering? Sometimes, crowdfunding campaigns owe much of their success to the branding surrounding the product. In those cases, we at least have our mark shown in connection with the goods. Other times, a product might be successful independent of the branding, and that branding might even change once the product is ready for the market. In those cases, the mark might not be used in connection with the product yet and we may have to wait to file under 1(a) or submit a specimen under 1(b).

IndieGoGo HQ | Sebastiaan ter Burg | Flickr

Photo courtesy of Sebastiaan ter Burg via Flickr

If it’s true that the mark we want registered appeared in connection with the goods we’re seeking to protect that mark for, we’ve cleared the first bar needed for a successful specimen. However, we still need to show that the mark was used in interstate commerce. While it may be true that investment or backer offers were made over the internet, and that money may have travelled via interstate commerce to successfully back a crowdfunding campaign, the goods themselves might not have made similar trips through commerce. Until that is the case, the crowdfunding campaign might closely resemble that of a pre-sale.

For pre-sale activity, the Trademark Manual of Examination Procedure states that USPTO, “must refuse registration if the specimen indicates the goods have not been sold or transported in commerce.” It goes on to provide that examples of pre-sale orders for goods not yet available to consumers do not qualify as use in commerce. A specimen submitted at this point could be rejected. If an applicant cannot show orders placed and fulfilled prior to submission of the defective specimen, the applicant will likely need to re-file.

To avoid this hassle, it is important to wait for products to be available for purchase online or in a retail setting before submitting a specimen showing use. Alternatively, an applicant may wish to try submitting a specimen once the first backer orders are fulfilled. However, the USPTO may later require supplemental evidence showing fulfillment of the orders. These might take the form of invoices, tracking information, product reviews, etc. It’s important applicants hold onto this type of documentation should it be requested upon examination of their specimen. No matter what, a trademark specimen should never be submitted prior to the marked goods themselves traveling in interstate commerce, no matter how successful the crowdfunding campaign may have been.

Can I Trademark my Name?

A trademark is usually a word, phrase, symbol, design, or a combination thereof that helps consumers identify the source of a product (or service in the case of service marks). Names of people, names of companies, logos, and symbols, as well as other things like sounds or look-and-feel can all be trademarked. Well-known examples of trademarked names include performing artists like Beyonce’ and Taylor Swift, fashion designers like Ralph Lauren or Calvin Klein, and to established businesses whose more personal genesis is long forgotten like McDonalds, which was named after the original founders. This leads many to wonder to themselves, “Can I trademark my name?”

Site of the first McDonalds, commemorating the founders | Flikr

It’s relatively easy to register a domain name. Often, a few dollars and knowledge that a domain is available is all you need. The convenience and ease of purchasing exclusive rights to a domain created the “cypersquatting” industry. While legitimate businesses may increase a value of a domain through marketing, content, and other mechanisms, cybersquatters usually try to register domain names they think may already hold value due to their resemblance to a famous name or mark. Then, once the person or mark holder requests to purchase the domain for a reasonable price, the cybersquatter may offer an outrageous sum instead.

To combat cybersquatting, the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act was signed into law in 1999. Now, a trademark owner may be able to sue to collect damages for trademark infringement AND be able to recover the domain if bad faith intent to profit can be shown.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the international organization responsible for supervising domain name registrations, also offers an arbitration process, which is usually more efficient and inexpensive for trademark owners than enforcement in court would be.

Due to the risks of cybersquatting, famous individuals and businesses alike often secure rights to their name so they may combat cybersquatting more readily. This is especially true when a person’s name is synonymous with the work, service, or goods they provide. Musical and theatrical performers may tour under their name and even sell merchandise bearing their name and/or likeness. Fashion designers are also often known to place their name upon their products, much like a company would.

If your name is like most peoples’, you probably only use it to interact with businesses and other individuals, but not in commerce. But if you’re entrepreneurial, and if your name (or stage name) also identifies a company, goods, services, or an offer to provide professional services over which you oversee, you should consider trademarking your name. However, there are still some considerations you may wish to make.

First, everyone should understand that surnames have a special exception under US trademark law. When a mark is comprised of a term that, standing by itself, is “primarily merely a surname”, the surname may need to be disclaimed. That means “Jeff Smith Auto Parts” and “Bill Smith Auto Parts” might both be on the register, with their own rights to “Smith”, but the marks don’t conflict and other marks with “Smith” may not either. In order to protect a mark component that is “primarily merely a surname”, that surname itself must have secondary meaning—that ordinary consumers would recognize the surname as a source. McDonald’s is probably the best example of such a mark.

Beyonce' owns multiple Trademarks across various classes of goods and services for her name

Wikimedia Commons

Even if you decide not to register your name, you may be able to still use your name as a mark if you have adopted it to identify your goods and/or services. This is referred to as a commonlaw trademark right. Still, whenever you claim rights to a mark, you should use the “TM” or “SM” designations, for trade and services marks, respectively. Registering your mark can provide certain additional protection under trademark law, including giving the owner the ability to bring action in federal court and obtaining foreign trademark rights.

The best way to decide whether registering your name as a trademark is to consult with a trademark attorney before you file your application. Please contact our office for a free consultation.

 

Design Patent Drawings

What are design patent drawings and how many are required for Design Patent Applications?

While the USPTO has various rules for drawings that are included for Utility Patent Applications, the rules for Design Patent drawings are especially important to follow. Failure to follow them exactly may require significant expense in justifying modification or even risk the abandonment of your invention.

General Rules on Format

Generally, Design Patent drawings should be drawn as solid black-and-white line drawings with what is known as “proper surface shading”. Importantly, features not intended to be claimed should be unshaded and have dotted lines. For instance, a new mug handle might include a properly shaded and solid line drawing for the handle portion, with dotted and unshaded portions for the cylindrical mug. A thorough guide to drafting compliant drawings is available on the USPTO’s website.

More Specific Formatting Considerations

As mentioned above, surfaces should be shaded. Shading should illustrate the character and contour of the surfaces of any 3D features of the design to be patented. Environmental portions, or those portions not intended to be claimed in the patented design, are not shaded and should be represented with broken or dotted lines.

Some Exceptions

The USPTO does allow black-and-white photographs to be submitted instead of drawings, but only when photographs are the only practicable way to illustrate the invention’s design. See 37 C.F.R. § 1.84(a)(2). Color photos/drawings must be filed along with a petition under the same C.F.R. section. The petition must explain why the inventor must submit color photos/drawings and/or why they are necessary to show the invention. In addition, the applicant must include three sets of the proposed color photos/drawings and the specification section of the application must include the following statement:

The patent or application file contains a least one drawing executed in color. Copies of this patent or patent application publication with color drawing(s) will be provided by the Office upon request and payment of the necessary fee.

How Many Drawings are Required?

The general rule is seven drawings. Essentially, any 3D item would have views in correlation to the sides of a dice – a front, back, left, right, top, and bottom. The seventh drawing is normally a perspective, such as slightly above and to one side, looking down. If an invention is quite symmetrical, an eighth drawing might help ensure there aren’t any issues during examination. Professional patent artists often use techniques that easily convert CAD drawings into each required view, requiring only minor edits. This can significantly reduce this burden on the inventor.

If you want to protect your ornamental design with a Design Patent, it’s important to keep these special rules for Design Patent Applications in mind. Since you’ll need to prepare important documents and proper drawings are crucial to turning your application into a patent, you should consider hiring a patent attorney. If you’d like our help or have any questions before filing, please call Grell & Watson Patent Attorneys for a free consultation.

 

Timing of Filing Design and Provisional Patent Applications

Filing Design and Provisional Patent Applications – Inventors wishing to file utility patents often secure a priority date by first filing Provisional Patent applications. These applications focus squarely on what the inventor has documented, and don’t require some of the formalities of a Non-Provisional Patent application. Since Provisional Patent applications aren’t examined, this means an inventor can file an application and receive a priority date for their patent without the need for an oath or declaration, an Information Disclosure Statement (IDS), and other formal application requirements. As long as the inventor files a Non-Provisional Patent application within 1 year of their Provisional filing, swearing priority to the Provisional Patent application, intervening publications cannot be cited as prior art against the inventor’s application.

Filing Design and Provisional Patent ApplicationsUnder 35 U.S.C. § 172, however, only Non-Provisional utility patent applications may swear priority to an earlier filed Provisional Patent application. Therefore, if ornamental design is a prominent feature of an invention, the provisional filing date may not be used as a placeholder for priority. So if both useful features and ornamental design aspects of an invention are important to the overall marketing and proprietary features of it, inventors should consider filing a design patent application in addition to filing a Provisional Patent Application. This can be done either simultaneously or by filing a Design Application soon after the filing of a Provisional Patent Application. That way, the ornamental features can receive a level of patent protection and share its priority date with respect to products sold or publications by others when it comes time for the USPTO to examine each application. Otherwise, products released or publications by others, and even the inventor’s own publications or sales, may become novelty defeating prior art against the inventor’s design application and the inventor may risk not being able to protect their ornamental features.

Filing Design and Provisional Patent Applications

One other consideration must be taken into account in regard to foreign applicants wishing to protect their ornamental designs within the US. Under the same section of patent law, 35 U.S.C. § 172, foreign applicants claiming priority in a US Design Patent Application to a foreign application, must file their application within six-months of filing their foreign application for the same design in order to use their foreign priority date in their US application. This shortened time period for international applicants means they should take special care regarding these deadlines if ornamental features are being protected.

If you have a useful invention that also features a unique ornamental design, it’s important to keep these special design patent rules in mind. Since you’ll need to prepare important documents and critical dates are crucial to turning your application into a patent, you should consider hiring a patent attorney. If you’d like our help or have any questions before filing, please call Grell & Watson Patent Attorneys for a free consultation.

Call Patent Attorney Richard Piercy at  (678) 383-4886.  Email

Being Careful when Requesting to Divide US Trademark Applications

Often, companies seeking a pre-determination as to whether a new brand is registerable as a US Trademark will apply for a trademark before they begin using it in commerce. These applications, commonly referred to as Intent to Use (ITU) or Section 1(b) applications, are reviewed for conflicts and other requirements before evidence of use is submitted by the applicant. If an applicant filing an ITU trademark application expects to use the brand across a variety of goods and services, they may choose to file in multiple trademark classes. However, after being allowed by the USPTO, the applicant must submit their evidence of use across ALL classes before the deadline to allege use. If the applicant has only established use in some, but not all classes, they must divide their application. By doing so, the applicant must be diligent to make sure part of their application avoids abandonment.

 

A Request to Divide is usually accompanied with an Allegation of Use in at least one of the applied for classes. The Allegation of Use must include a specimen – usually one or more photos of the goods and/or services bearing the applied for mark. For classes which the applicant is not yet prepared to submit specimen, the applicant must pay the Allegation of Use fee, Request to Divide fee, AND application fees related to those classes the applicant wishes to divide from the original application. Failing to pay the new application fees in each class will result in abandonment of the divided classes which can only be revived by paying these fees and filing a petition to revive with the corresponding petition fee. There are timing requirements for petitions which are strictly enforced and may result in the permanent abandonment and require an entirely new application with a new priority date.

 

If you’re considering protecting a new brand with a trademark, but want to make sure it will be allowed first, ITU applications are a great way to begin. If you’re planning on using and protecting your brand in a variety of classes, it may be helpful to strategize with a Trademark Attorney beforehand. Knowing critical dates in advance can help you prepare to avoid having to divide your application in the first place. If you do have to divide your application, it may be a good time to hire an attorney to help you avoid abandonment or unnecessary revival fees. Since you’ll need to prepare important documents and critical dates are crucial to protecting your brand with a trademark, you should consider hiring a trademark attorney. If you’d like our help or have any questions before filing, please call Grell & Watson Patent Attorneys for a free consultation.

USPTO Now Requires International Applicants to be Represented by a US Attorney

In May 2019, the USPTO announced that as of August 3, 2019, all international applicants for US trademarks must be represented by US counsel. The final rule has been published in the Federal Register. This means that to submit a new trademark application, to respond or enter documents into a pending trademark application, or to renew existing registrations, international individuals and businesses must hire a US attorney to represent them and submit these materials on their behalf.

 

The new rule is intended to satisfy 3 goals: (1) increase USPTO customer compliance with US trademark law and USPTO regulations, (2) improve the accuracy of trademark submissions, and (3) safeguard the integrity of the US trademark register. Since domestic and international businesses rely on the US trademark register to make important business and legal decisions about their brands, the USPTO determined that requiring international applicants be represented by counsel would help them maintain compliance with their stringent trademark rules. It found that an increasing number of international applicants had filed inaccurate and potentially fraudulent submissions with the USPTO. Some cases have even involved governments and business entities offering cash bounties in the form of subsidies for successful registrations of trademarks in the US. The USPTO found that these applicants often were represented by non-lawyer consultants, in violation of unlicensed practice of law policies.

 

To protect international applicants from unwittingly participating in fraud facilitated by these international non-lawyer consultants, and to otherwise harmonize the USPTO rules with its international trademark office peers, this policy now requires electronic submissions by international applicants to be submitted by US attorneys having verified credentials with the USPTO. In fact, as of October 26, 2019 all applicants, domestic and international, are now required to obtain USPTO credentials in order to submit trademark documents in order to prevent misuse of the online system. Through 2020, you can expect the USPTO to take further steps to increase security and reduce fraud. These will include verification of each my.uspto.gov account and adding the ability to delegate and control access to filings.

 

Due to these changes, it’s now more important than ever to have experienced trademark counsel represent you before the USPTO. If you are an international or domestic applicant who wants to be represented by a firm with decades of experience protecting brands with US trademarks, please call Grell & Watson Patent Attorneys for a free consultation.

Filing Design and Provisional Patent Applications

Timing of Filing Design and Provisional Patent Applications

Grell & Watson tracks the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office  procedure and the Copyright Office .  Please find their most recent update below.

Filing Design and Provisional Patent ApplicationsInventors wishing to file utility patents often secure a priority date by first filing Provisional Patent Applications. These applications focus squarely on what the inventor has documented, and don’t require some of the formalities of a Non-Provisional Patent Application. Since Provisional Patent applications aren’t examined, this means an inventor can file an application and receive a priority date for their patent without the need for a patent claim, an oath or declaration, an Information Disclosure Statement (IDS), and other formal application requirements. As long as the inventor files a Non-Provisional Patent Application within 1 year of their Provisional filing, swearing priority to the Provisional Patent Application, intervening publications cannot be cited as prior art against the inventor’s application.

Under 35 U.S.C. § 172, however, only Non-Provisional utility patent applications may swear priority to an earlier filed Provisional Patent application. Therefore, if ornamental design is a prominent feature of an invention, the provisional filing date may not be used as a placeholder for priority. So, if both useful features and ornamental design aspects of an invention are important to the overall marketing and proprietary features of it, inventors should consider filing a design patent application in addition to filing a Provisional Patent Application. This can be done either simultaneously or by filing a design application soon after the filing of a Provisional Patent Application. That way, the ornamental features can receive a level of patent protection and share its priority date with respect to products sold or publications by others when it comes time for the USPTO to examine each application. Otherwise, products released or publications by others, and even the inventor’s own publications or sales, may become novelty defeating prior art against the inventor’s design application and the inventor may risk not being able to protect their ornamental features.

If you have a useful invention that also features a unique ornamental design, it’s important to keep these special design patent rules in mind. Since you’ll need to prepare important documents and critical dates are crucial to turning your application into a patent, you should consider hiring a patent attorney.

One other consideration must be taken into account in regard to foreign applicants wishing to protect their ornamental designs within the US. Under the same section of patent law, 35 U.S.C. § 172, foreign applicants claiming priority in a US Design Patent Application to a foreign application, must file their application within six-months of filing their foreign application for the same design in order to use their foreign priority date in their US application. This shortened time period for international applicants means they should take special care regarding these deadlines if ornamental features are being protected.

If you’d like our help or have any questions before filing, please call Grell & Watson Patent Attorneys for a free consultation.

Filing Design and Provisional Patent Applications

Call for a Free Consultation with a Patent Attorney or Trademark Attorney.

By Richard Piercy

IP Lawyers:

Ext. 104 – Atlanta I-75 & Downtown – (404) 596-7333

Abandoned Patent Applications

Abandoned Patent Applications

Grell & Watson tracks the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office  and the Copyright Office for news.  Please find their most recent update below.

Patent Abandonment

Abandoned Patent ApplicationsPatent application abandonment or patent abandonment means that a patent application is no longer pending or a patent is no longer valid, respectively. In the case of issued U.S. patents, this can occur due to failure to pay patent maintenance fees or when a patent owner expressly abandons his or her patent with a written declaration of abandonment. For U.S. patent applications, this generally occurs when, during the pendency of an application, an applicant fails to reply within six (6) months of the mail date of an Office Action from the USPTO patent examiner. Other circumstances of application abandonment include, but are not limited to, failure to pay issue fees after allowance and incomplete replies by applicants who then fail to cure the deficiencies within specified timeframes. Express or written abandonment is also possible, though it is generally reserved for cases where an applicant wishes to prevent the application’s publication.

Sometimes inventors become too busy, life gets in the way, or prosecuting their patent becomes overwhelmingly complicated. If they delay too long in responding to USPTO correspondence, they may unintentionally abandon their application and their invention can enter the public domain. In this article, we cover how abandonment might happen and steps you can take to get your application back on track.

Petitioning to Revive an Abandoned Patent Application – After Two Months

If the holding of abandonment is not being disputed, an abandoned U.S. patent application may be revived only on the basis of unintentional delay. If the delay in reply by applicant was unintentional or unavoidable, a petition to the Director may be filed to revive the application. Under 37 C.F.R. 1.137, the petition requires (i) the reply required to the outstanding Office Action; (ii) the petition fee of $850 for a small entity; (iii) a terminal disclaimer and corresponding fee of $160; and (iv) a statement that the entire delay in filing the required reply from the due date for the reply until the filing of a grantable petition pursuant to this section was unintentional. In the case of failing to reply to a Non-Final Office Action, the applicant may file a continuation application which swears priority to the abandoned application instead of its reply to the outstanding Office Action with a continuation application swearing priority to the initial application, in place of (i) the reply required.

While these are the only requirements for filing the petition, the Director of the USPTO may require additional information when there is a question as to whether the entire delay was unintentional. This determination is at the sole discretion of the Director. Should the Director require this additional information, the applicant must then carry the burden of proof to establish that the delay from the due date for the reply until the filing of a grantable petition was unintentional.

This may mean providing reasons, circumstances or excuses for failing to respond along with sufficient written or testamentary evidence corroborating them. Examples might include failure to receive an Office Action and/or a Notice of Abandonment due to change in address or lost mail, failure of an applicant’s representative to communicate the same, the applicant’s physical or mental incapacitation during the period of delay, death of the applicant or a close family relation, or confusion as to the sufficiency of the applicant’s response or the status of its application. Examples do not include the applicant deciding that responding would be too complicated or expensive or otherwise not worthwhile but later changing their mind.

Petitioning to Withdraw the Holding of Abandonment – Within Two Months

In cases where the applicant disputes the USPTO’s determination that the application was abandoned, he or she may petition to withdraw the holding of abandonment. The reasons for petitioning to withdraw the holding of abandonment include (i) non-receipt of USPTO correspondence by an applicant or its representative; (ii) argument that an incomplete response was substantially complete; or (iii) evidence that a reply was timely mailed or filed. In any of these scenarios, 37 C.F.R. 1.181(f) provides that any petition not filed within two (2) months of the Notice of Abandonment may be dismissed as untimely. Therefore, applicants that have been recently notified that their applications have been abandoned, must move quickly to petition the USPTO to withdraw the holding of abandonment.

If you have received a notice of abandonment but still wish to receive a patent for your invention, it may not be too late to fix your mistake. Since you’ll need to prepare important documents and critical dates and evidence are crucial to continuing your application, it may be time to hire a patent attorney. If you’d like our help or have any questions before filing, please call Grell & Watson Patent Attorneys for a free consultation.

Abandoned Patent Applications

Call for a Free Consultation with a Patent Attorney or Trademark Attorney.

By Richard Piercy

IP Lawyers:

Ext. 104 – Atlanta I-75 & Downtown – (404) 596-7333

When is my Provisional Deadline?

When is my Provisional Deadline? US patent law allows inventors to file informal, or Provisional, patent applications. These applications consist largely of the inventor’s invention disclosure, without the requirement to conform to the complex and elaborate requirements of the standard, or Non-Provisional, patent application. This allows inventors a low-cost way to receive a priority date for their application and begin marketing their invention as “patent pending” upon filing. However, this application is never examined by the USPTO and may never become a patent unless the corresponding formal Non-Provisional patent application is filed within 1-year of the Provisional patent application filing. This date is sometimes referred to as the “Provisional Deadline.” While this date generally falls 365 days after the Provisional patent application’s filing date, some instances afford inventors one or more extra days to file.

provisional deadline
Provisional Deadline

Leap Year

Since there is an extra day in February every 4 years, inventors are incidentally afforded an extra day. This is because the Provisional Deadline falls on the same calendar day, not 365 days, from the date the Provisional patent application was filed. Though most may not even notice this extra day, applicants who filed in early March the year before a leap year may enjoy that extra day to review, finalize and file their Non-Provisional patent application.

If you’re considering filing a Provisional patent application, or are quickly approaching your Provisional Deadline, it’s never too late to hire a patent attorney to help draft and file your application. Patent attorneys can docket your application, keeping in mind all relevant deadlines, to remind you with plenty of time to make sure you don’t inadvertently abandon your invention. Please contact Grell & Watson Patent Attorneys for a free consultation.

Weekends and Federal Holidays

Nowadays, nearly all US patent applications are filed electronically online, and not filed on physical paper or fax. Absent outages and maintenance, the USPTO’s online filing system is generally open 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. Nonetheless, the USPTO affords extra time to inventors when their filing deadline falls on a weekend or federal holiday, when their office is not open. So, if the filing deadline falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the Non-Provisional patent application may be filed on the following Monday, while maintaining its priority to the Provisional patent application. If the following Monday or the filing deadline is a federal holiday, the inventor may file the Non-Provisional patent application the next business day. For example, if an inventor had filed her Provisional patent application on February 15, 2019, her Provisional Deadline would actually fall on February 18, 2020 because the 15th is a Saturday and the 17th is President’s Day. This would afford an inventor an extra 3 days to finalize and file her Non-Provisional patent application.

Please contact a US Patent Attorney at Grell & Watson

Richard Piercy
(404) 596-7333
Email

We would be happy to discuss your potential US Provisional Patent application and answer any patent questions.

Trademark Specimen for Clothing

Commonly, unrepresented applicants registering marks for apparel in International Class 25 will submit pictures of their mark across the front of a shirt as a Trademark Specimen for Clothing. This could be a word, phrase, slogan, or design they wish to popularize and market for apparel. However, even though these could be eligible for trademark protection in this class, the specimen submitted to the USPTO must feature the mark in a manner that is source indicative. Large screen printed or embroidered text or designs on the front of garments rarely meet this exacting standard. The USPTO may refuse a specimen for being “merely ornamental” or a “decorative feature.”


Trademark Specimen for Clothing

In order to register any mark with the USPTO, you must submit a trademark specimen  for clothing of how you actually use the mark in commerce. More often than not, this means a picture of the goods as they are sold or the services as they appear to the customer.

Ornamental Refusal – A common mistake when submitting specimen for apparel or clothing trademarks.

Here are some tips to ensure your trademark specimen  for clothing will be accepted by the US Patent & Trademark Office:

  • If placing the mark on the outside of the garment, it should go where would expect to see other brand’s marks, like the pocket, breast area, or sleeve and keep it small and neat. Most athletic polo and golf shirts offer great examples.
  • Many places inside the garment will be adequate. Silk tags and “tagless” under-collar screen-printing are usually acceptable locations.
  • Anything detachable from the garment, like plastic or cellophane wrapping, boxes, or hang-tags usually qualify.
  • Though not ideal, sometimes featuring the mark along with the goods in an online store can function as a source indicator.

If you’ve already received an ornamental refusal for your apparel trademark application, it’s not too late to fix your mistake. Since you’ll need to prepare important documents and critical dates and evidence are crucial to proving your case, it may be time to hire a trademark attorney. If you’d like our help or have any questions before filing, please call

By Richard Piercy Patent & Trademark Attorney.

(404) 596-7333
Email

Call for a Free Consultation.  Experienced & Affordable.

Grell & Watson, Patent Attorney, Trademark Copyright IP Lawyer

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