San Francisco Trademark Lawyers
Legal Tips and Information
San Francisco Trademark Lawyer
Finding the best trademark attorney in San Francisco is crucial when registering a trademark and protecting the value of intellectual property. Filing applications to obtain registrations from the USPTO is a great place to start. Having a trademark attorney in SF on the team with a track record of successfully navigating the complicated world of licensing, strategic branding counseling, entity formation, corporate compliance, and domain name strategy can quickly take a company to the next level of success.
How a San Francisco Trademark Lawyer Fits into a Startup Team
In a new company, a trademark attorney works with founders to assist with developing brands, marketing products or services, developing advertising campaigns, and clearing marks. When disputes arise, the attorney will have the knowledge and background to help untangle them and advise the team as to how they should proceed.
When a brand is threatened by a competitor or when counterfeit items enter the marketplace, the trademark lawyer can manage the initial steps that need to be taken to stop the threat. They can even help the firm hire a specialty lawyer or outside counsel if the problem becomes complicated or outside their scope of knowledge.
The trademark lawyer manages the professional portfolios of the company; both international and national. They also handle IP enforcement and send any necessary cease and desist letters. Their input and advice is often requested as the company develops and creates new marks
They also review instructional materials, manuals, promotional materials, and advertising for compliance and consistency. The trademark attorney’s job is essential to the company’s ability to protect their valuable trademarks as well as their ability to leverage the startup’s brand identity.
How a San Francisco Trademark Lawyer Helps Startups with Infringement
A San Francisco trademark lawyer provides their clientele with a competitive advantage by protecting intellectual property and trade secrets. In this constantly changing marketplace, businesses rely on their trademarks to provide revenue streams through licensing royalties. Intellectual property may also serve the business as collateral for loans.
In the early stages, new ideas and inventions should be evaluated carefully for trademark infringement by a qualified San Francisco trademark lawyer. According to the USPTO a trademark infringement, “is the unauthorized use of a trademark or service mark on or in connection with goods and/or services in a manner that is likely to cause confusion, deception, or mistake about the source of the goods and/or services.”
If a startup founder believes their trademark is being infringed upon by another person or company, they have several choices. First, they’ll need to prove infringement. A lawyer with experience in trademark enforcement can help with this process.
The owner of the trademark can ask for an injunction demanding the defendant cease using the mark immediately. They may also request that the items that bear the mark or infringe upon the trademark be destroyed or forfeited immediately.
If a court grants those requests, a trademark attorney may also advise their client to seek monetary relief that includes the costs of the action and the defendant’s profits. Monetary relief may also include any damages the plaintiff requests for damages sustained by the defendant’s actions.
What Services Does a San Francisco Trademark Attorney Provide to Emerging Companies?
There are many services that San Francisco trademark attorneys provide to help startups properly register their trademarks. The cost of filing a trademark and the time it takes to complete the process varies widely. While individual circumstances determine the time span and cost of a trademark, most take between one and three years from application to registration.
A trademark attorney will provide a trademark search report including a legal opinion that includes a review of any similar marks found during the search. Most trademark attorneys will search the US Trademark Office registrations, Canadian IP Office Trademark registrations, domain names, unregistered marks, and US state registrations.
Preparation and Filing of Application to Register Trademark
Applications can be filed with the USPTO office either electronically or on paper. There is a reduced filing fee for electronic trademark applications. After the application is evaluated by a USPTO attorney, more documentation may be required, and the trademark attorney can handle these communications, as well.
Affidavit of Use After Registration
Keeping a patent registration alive requires regular filing of maintenance documents with the USPTO. If a business fails to properly file these documents by the deadlines, their U.S. trademark registration will be cancelled. This worst-case-scenario could be catastrophic for a new company that depends heavily on the value of its intellectual property. Depending on the type of patent, the owner may be required to file a Declaration of Use and/or Excusable Nonuse under section 8 of the Trademark Act between the 5th and 6th year of owning the patent or between the 9th and 10th year of owning the patent.
Common mistakes that startups make when filing their Affidavit of Use After Registration include improperly updating ownership information and verifying that the goods and services included in the registration are actually in use and that any goods and services not in use are deleted.
Filing required paperwork at intervals set forth by the USTPO office is crucial to the life of the patent in question. Business owners and founders must be aware of these requirements and handle them in a timely manner. The process can be time consuming, so it’s a great idea to turn the matter over to an experienced San Francisco trademark lawyer. Failure to file the affidavit of use results in cancellation of the U.S. trademark registration.
The initial filing deadlines, depending on the type of trademark registration, or between five and six years or between nine and 10 years. There is a six-month grace period during which the business can handle any inquiries sent by the USTPO.
What’s Going on in San Franciso’s Startup Communitty?
One of the hottest areas of the world for entrepreneurs, the San Francisco area has a lot to offer aspiring business founders. By some estimates, there are as many as 11,000 startups in San Francisco competing for the area’s resources.
One way to get a feel for what’s going on in the San Francisco startup scene is to attend one of their many startup events. LaunchScale is a great place to meet other startup founders and gain inspiration.
Held in the fall of each year, this dynamic conference attracts the world’s best founders, growth experts, and investors.
Other notable startup events include the Silicon Valley’s Lean Startup Conference Tour, The Startup World Cup, Startup Grind Global Conference, Post Seed, FunnyBizz Conference, and Silicon Valley Open Door Technology Investment Conference.
How to Navigate the Bay Area Startup Scene
San Francisco helps make startup founders’ dreams come true every day. Home to giants like Airbnb and Uber, the Bay Area offers much in the way of resources for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Housing in San Francisco
Living in the SF area can be expensive when compared to other popular startup hubs. The average rent for a modest two-bedroom apartment in 2015 was over $4,000 per month. Even the suburbs are expensive. The national Zillow rent index in 2015 was $1,364. In San Francisco, the Zillow rent index was $3,162. It’s important to fully understand the cost of living in this area before deciding to relocate. Most renters in the area spend between 45% and 65% of their total take-home pay on housing.
Networking in San Francisco
Renting a corner in a popular coworking space like NextSPace, PARISOMA, SOMAcentral, Citizen Space SF, Metamoki, or The Hattery is a great way to meet like-minded and well-connected startup founders. Choose a coworking space with other renters who are working in a similar niche and remember to contribute to the culture of the place by participating in as many events as possible.
Some coworking spaces, like Mind the Bridge in the popular SoMA neighborhood offer additional resources to entrepreneurs like advice, mentorship programs, and introductions to angel investors.
Meetup.com is a good place to start when trying to navigate the networking terrain in SF. Starting online is a great way to hone in on local hot spots for like-minded entrepreneurs.
Seeking Help with Starting a Business in San Francisco
Here are some notable organizations that help specific entrepreneurs get their ideas off the ground in Southern California:
- Girls in Tech (San Francisco Circle) helps women network, find mentors, and recruit other women in technology fields.
- Black Founders is an organization that is committed to fostering economic growth and stimulating tech entrepreneurship.
- General Assembly San Francisco offers paid and free classes for startup founders.
- Y Combinator invests $120,000 in a large number of startups twice each year.
- Tumml offers a four-month educational program for companies that aim to solve urban issues.
- Plug and Play offers co-working spaces, funding, investment opportunities, and incubators across Southern California.
- Dev Bootcamp is an educational program that takes beginning programmers to full-stack web developers in 19 weeks.
- Founder Institute offers a part-time four month program that is focused on hands-on learning.
- Women’s Start Up Lab offers 2-week and 2-month startup programs for female business owners and founders.
- Creative Convergence Silicon Valley is a 2-day event that offers interactive demonstrations, networking opportunities, and speakers.
- Pitchforce is a monthly fundraising event geared towards companies in social, big data, finance, biotech, clean tech, medtech, software, and mobile sectors.
There are many aspects to starting a business in San Francisco. Among hot competition, it can be difficult to navigate the terrain of startup resources and make the right decisions for a brand-new business. An expert trademark attorney in San Francisco uses experience and expertise to protect valuable brands and help their clients bypass the expensive and painful trial-and-error method many entrepreneurs and inventors take for granted.
Startup founders should choose a San Francisco trademark lawyer with experience with local and regional laws and use them as a resource to take their business to the next level of success.
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Legal Services Offered by Our On-Demand San Francisco Trademark Attorneys
Our experienced San Francisco trademark attorneys & lawyers represent individuals and businesses with everything they need to secure and protect their trademarks. Our attorneys can help individuals with everything from trademark clearance searches to determine whether the desired mark is available for adoption, use, and registration. By reviewing the search reports thoroughly, they can conclusively determine the extent to which a mark is already being used and the potential success of filing a trademark.
Trademark licensing can be complex, but our trademark attorneys have experience drafting agreements on behalf of both licensees and trademark owners - thus allowing you to capitalize on your valuable intellectual property. Our San Francisco trademark attorneys can also draft and file your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), including Intent to Use and Use in Commerce applications.
Our attorneys can also help protect your trademark around the globe by assisting clients with filing trademark applications under the Madrid Protocol, which allows trademark holders to obtain protection in multiple countries by filing a single application.
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