I can help you avoid a trademark opposition,
trademark cancellation,
and help with a
Notice of Opposition,
Petition to Cancel,
filing the Answer to a
Notice of Opposition,
or Petition to Cancel,
making the application
for a trademark,
and with many other
trademark-related issues.

 

 

Have a trademark problem? click here

 

Attorneys and non-attorneys
turn to me (
non-attorney).

Here's why:

I help avoid and resolve
simple and complex
trademark problems.

Most trademark problems
are based on marketing
much more than on law.

Self-taught in law from
my own trademark problem,
and now many others,
I think differently than
most trademark lawyers.

30+ years marketing,
brand, product, service
naming experience.

30+ years following
market trends in
all industries.

30+ years assessing
trade customs and practices.

My approach resolves
problems faster and better.


Solutions based on
business fundamentals
and commerce and law.

Trademarks are brands,
brands are commerce.
Attorneys, knowing law,
often overlook commerce.

Most attorneys have little
or no marketing experience
(so they rely only on law).

If I don't know I learn.
I now know law plus
30+ years commerce.

I base solutions on
research,
investigation,
analysis,
(never boilerplate).

I help with
Trademark Application
Notice of Opposition,
Petition to Cancel,
Non-Final Office Action,
Final Office Action,
Appeal to TTAB,
Cease and Desist.

I help write and file
the Answer to and/or the
Notice of Opposition,
Petition for Cancellation.

I help write and file
Motions, Briefs,
Business letters.

I help write and file
reply brief to a final or
non-final office action.

I help write and respond to
Interrogatory and
Requests for Documents.

I help you with
research,
in-depth investigation,
findings and analysis,
winning strategy.

I work in the background
as a trademark consultant.


No retainer, no contract.

Pay as you go, online,
with Visa/MasterCard.

Safe secure online store.

I explain everything.

My writing is clear, concise.

I always investigate or
have you investigate.

With effort and tenacity,
I build strong argument.

I help avoid escalation.

I create and assess
every course of action.

I leave little room for surprise
(on our side).

I help by email worldwide.

I prefer all in writing, documented for review.

No phone calls required.

Attorney, non-Attorney,
you represent yourself
(or your client).

 

 

Have a trademark problem? click here



- OR -

UNENDORSED


 


Trademark Problems : Update

Why I am a trademark consultant, not an Attorney,
how and why my approach is different, maybe better. 


Rob Cummings, Trademark Consultant - Not an Attorney, a trademark and business problem solver.

I am not an Attorney, though I have found that my problem solving methodology, and my business experience combined with tenacity and a true desire to win, has given me the ability to help others successfully overcome trademark problems.

"I wish I found you long ago, for trademark and marketing solutions."
See more client quotes:

I never would have thought about solving trademark problems, or helping people avoid trademark problems, had I not had my own trademark problems.

I'm surprised to find how much my business and marketing background helps.

Once learning the trademark side the hard way, the light bulb went on.

It seems I understand and resolve trademark problems with an approach that rivals that of even the best trademark IP attorneys - or at least causes them serious concern and expense in cases now pending.

Trademark problems are normally based more on commerce than law, and most attorneys are versed in law, not business and marketing.

The reason for my success (I believe) is that few attorneys have business or marketing backgrounds, and therefore fail to evaluate the business side. I do.

Trade, distribution channels, marketing, packaging, consumer awareness, commercial impression, trade dress ... these and more are aspects I've followed for more than 30 years. They are typically the culprits in trademark problems.

If you read the Dupont Factors that help resolve likelihood of confusion trademark problems, you quickly see how a person with a broad marketing background like myself would understand far better than a Harvard or Yale attorney.

The Harvard or Yale attorney would be no match for me in a real estate transaction yet I'm finding I am a formidable opponent in trademarks - from experience.


Rob Cummings, Trademark Consultant - Not an Attorney, a trademark and business problem solver.

I have read 1000's of cases, and though surprised, am realizing few others (if any) do what I do, the way I do it - or even close to the way I do it.

My method takes longer up front, yet makes so much more sense than an attorney's boilerplate solution, and truly seems to work.

I attribute my success rate to diligence, never boilerplate, and taking the time to think through every case - upfront - where it's most effective.

The #1 question people ask me is "you've done this before, don't you have a form for that?" Yes I may have, but no, I don't.

In every case, I start from scratch, learning and confirming all the facts, who is involved, what their motivation may be, and everything else to win.

By becoming extremely familiar with all aspects, and getting to know the other party (going well beyond basic law), you and I gain the insight and make discoveries that help to choose the right battles, and win.

I help people:

  • overcome trademark problems in the most efficient manner

  • avoid trademark problems, opposition, cancellation

  • create 'best' company, brand, product and service names

  • understand approaches, solutions, and reasons for them

 

Like Doctors, there are two types, good and bad:

The good Doctor may cost more, yet is inquisitive, never assumes anything, double checks, and helps the patient in a way that is always best for the patient. 

The bad Doctor, maybe less costly, simply performs procedures - without explanation. Patients may be cured, yet if not, they never know why.

Some attorneys simply perform procedures, saving clients money up front, yet with boilerplate solutions that are more costly later.


Rob Cummings, Trademark Consultant - Not an Attorney, a trademark and business problem solver.

In helping with trademark and business, I act like the good Doctor:

  • never assuming or jumping to premature diagnosis

  • always researching

  • always explaining and helping people understand options

  • always reaching for a better solution

  • always looking inside as well as outside the box, and under it

  • never overlooking the obvious

  • always thinking about the most appropriate solution

  • always determined to help make the right choices

When I deal with professionals - business, accounting, legal - even medical - I trust the one that thinks like me and: 

  • puts it all in plain language

  • helps me understand

  • helps me make informed decisions

  • communicates clearly

  • does not always agree with me, yet puts me first

  • answers all my questions

  • always acts in my best interest, even for less money

  • doesn't stop where the budget does

  • lets me know if I should spend more

  • treats my problems as if they were his/her own

This page explains more about why I am now more convinced that, as a non-Attorney, I bring value to trademark problem solving - and the reasons I feel that a thoughtful, determined and concerned Trademark Consultant or Advisor can produce faster and more positive outcomes - with an Attorney or without.

I will never say that you should not consult with an Attorney, however...

... I have been increasingly surprised as I review the work of well-known and renowned intellectual property counsel - and clearly noticed (as did my clients):

  • serious errors made

  • lack of good judgment

  • lack of strategy

  • lack of counseling

  • lack of client education

  • lack of research, analysis, discussion, assessment

  • lack of business sense

  • lack of contingency planning

  • extremely high costs, lack of in-depth consideration, or both

  • protracted cases that seem far beyond reasonable

More disturbing, in a number of cases clients have come to me with, I identified key aspects entirely overlooked.

In these cases, had clients and counsel taken a more serious look, it appears to me (and my clients) that the problem could have been 'nipped in the bud' - enabling my client to win and/or move forward - faster, with minimal complication, at reduced cost, and with less delay and uncertainty.

Why does this happen with trademark problems?

What I have found is that trademark attorneys understand trademark law, and civil law, yet may overlook other aspects by not stepping out of that 'legal box' - and not thinking about the opponent or adversary, and psychology, and every other aspect.

Budgets for these firms may restrict them to boilerplate solutions, however, clients that restrict the budget increase the chances of trademark problems escalating.

I also find some clients hire Attorneys that are not trademark specialists - either because they already represent the client, or the client is trying to save money.

I feel that the earlier you can resolve a problem, the better.

I believe that some law firms do not have the time in the budget for a complete explanation and discussion of the upsides and downsides - and for early and thorough exploration and discovery - that includes the specific case yet also all other factors that may be relevant.

Some clients tie the hands of the Attorneys that could be great.

Some clients, not realizing how serious a trademark problem can become, or how threatening it could be to business, tie the attorney's hands - or act inappropriately or off the cuff or with misunderstandings, and then create bigger problems to be undone. I also believe some attorneys, not all, are overzealous.


Rob Cummings, Trademark Consultant - Not an Attorney, a trademark and business problem solver.

Is there a better solution?

I believe the only solution is taking all oppositions (or any other trademark-related issues) extremely seriously, as seriously as if someone claimed they slipped on the ice on your front steps and were injured, and:

  • devoting time and effort from the outset to avoid escalation

  • educating clients to the point where they understand what they are doing, or what their counsel is doing, or, ideally, both.

  • gaining a deep understanding of the opponent or adversary, and potential motivation, and history, past and present.

Most of my job has been in explaining concepts all can understand - to clients and attorneys and other business people - in plain and simple language - and helping develop real solutions that are not boilerplate - and that terminate trademark problems as quickly and cost-effectively as possible - with positive outcomes. 

In the process, clients also learn how to avoid trademark problems in the future by thinking more like a trademark Attorney. and more like business people that may cause trademark problems.

Issues escalating out of control (when they never needed to).

In cases involving seemingly qualified counsel, I have noticed that simple situations with simpler answers were (in my mind) allowed to escalate out of control and unnecessarily - into drawn-out trademark cases, and even civil cases.

This is not to say that trademarks and trademark issues are ever easy - though I feel they could be 'put to bed' much earlier with more upfront thought and deeper consideration of the issues and alternatives.

So far, with all the cases I have dealt with, none have escalated.

I am not saying that I am a genius, though am saying the determination I have and the time I invest seems to be the better approach.

I am also not saying that my service is inexpensive. To succeed (with or without an Attorney) means someone needs to go many extra miles. In many cases, two heads are better than one, and I have helped client Attorneys as well.

In addition to helping those Pro Se, I have made Attorney's jobs easier by helping their clients understand issues, risks, options, contingencies - in clear language.

Working closely with clients, I helped determine the best courses of action - in the client's best interest - with my clients understanding the approach and reasons.

One by one, I help trademark problems go away faster.

Though for a few select with complex issues, it still may be years, I do my best to minimize the time and costs, and avoid escalation.

My latest eBay case was a prime example (of what not to do).

In particular but not only, the eBay case I just helped with began with a simple opposition, however, the client law firm decided not to answer - and instead 'settle' - without an answer to the opposition - presumably because it was eBay - I guess.

Long story short, I discovered a way to answer, and how that answer could have prevented the ensuing civil law suit and the claims of breach of contract and everything else that followed - over $495K in legal fees.

In other words, the opposition was the 'match' and that 'match' could have been extinguished before the fire (i.e. the civil case that suspended the trademark case pending its outcome). Had the opposition been effectively 'extinguished' , this case would never have gone to civil court.

The outcome is still up in the air. My eBay client was busy running a business, and pretty much left in the dark by all legal counsel - until things escalated out of control - with over $495K in legal fees and more needed.

I helped after the fact, but feel strongly that, had I helped with the initial Opposition, and the answer to it, this case may well have stopped right there - never going any further - and certainly never going to civil court. The Opposition required a clear and compelling 'answer' that was never provided - or even attempted. In addition, civil court is not the best venue for trademark decisions with the intricacies of trademark concepts, law, and other aspects unique to trademarks. 

The clients that come to me have larger issues than I expected, involving major law firms, and well known parties.

People who come to me to help them overcome trademark problems have told me that Trademark and Intellectual Property Attorneys they have contacted required very high fees, and often considered the cases hopeless as a result of the cost their law firms need to charge for the in-depth research and strategy required.

To determine courses of action, I spend the time and do the research, and often discover solutions that major firms overlook.

I myself have been surprised that, in my experience, I have found that even the largest of Internationally-known and respected companies and law firms make errors, omissions, and other mistakes - often fail to get to the heart of the issue - things escalate out of control - and these mistakes could easily have been avoided had they taken my approach based on the initial trademark problem.

Cases I've helped with have $millions and entire companies at stake.


Rob Cummings, Trademark Consultant - Not an Attorney, a trademark and business problem solver.

In my approach, I think everything through extremely carefully, avoid boilerplate solutions, assess upsides and downsides, consider all options, alternatives and contingencies, and then choose the specific battle.

I have also found that many people do not understand the motivation of opposers and others, become baffled and confused, and I routinely help cut through the 'clutter' to get back to what the real trademark problem is.

Once I cut through the 'clutter' by spending the time to truly assess the issue at hand, I have been able to create defenses and/or make arguments that are undeniably true and not based on opinion. This helps win trademark cases.

An example of my approach to solving trademark problems...

For example, when I answer oppositions or Petitions to Cancel, all cases to the date of this writing - except one - have gone no further. If the opposer or petitioner goes no further, the defendant wins by default. The one case that has gone past the Answer, only escalated to a deposition, which is part of the typical discovery process.

I believe the reason my cases so often go no further than the 'answer' is that my 'answer' is not boilerplate. Instead, I thoroughly assess the situation, choose the right battle, make the points clear and undeniable, and this makes it difficult if not impossible for the opposer to continue with the trademark opposition.

What I describe above takes a great deal of concentration, time, and effort - for any Attorney or non-Attorney willing to go 'beyond boilerplate'. To go beyond boilerplate and avoid protracted cases, you simply need to spend more time and think harder..

What I do may take more time and more money initially, yet I do things step by step, clients pay as they go, and I do not require a retainer - or to be retained.

The entire trademark process is based on short, plain, simple statements that cannot be misconstrued and that are understood by all - Attorneys, non-Attorneys, and laymen.

Being a writer since 1979 helps me to distill sentences and concepts to their very essence, which (I also believe) is one of the keys to my success. 

Trademark Attorneys may know the law - yet may not be the best writers, or the best problem solvers, or always have the time to devote to trying to truly win.

As a non-Attorney, I have helped identify overlooked key elements and aspects that changed the nature of the trademark case in favor of my clients - or helped develop strategies that made the Oppositions I helped draft extremely difficult to provide a proper Answer to - or an Answer that could allow the case to continue.

I treat what I do as an art, and develop artful strategies - that come from taking the time to assess everything, and only then make crucial decisions.

Like a game of chess, I look at the whole board and every piece, then move step by step in a logical and informed manner. Like chess, you can still lose, however, your chances are dramatically reduced by assessing your every move, and every move of your opponent.

I also thoroughly research opponents and adversaries, which few Attorneys have the luxury of being able to do - unless they have huge budgets. In research, I learn more about the opponent - and the business of the opponent - and the history.

Quite often, one overlooked yet uncovered aspect brought to light can reverse an entire case.

No matter whether the adversary is large or small, a major intellectual property firm or not, the right timing, the right strategies, and the right approach can make cases terminate much more quickly - yet by that I mean perhaps a few years can be reduced to many months. No matter what, each step in the process takes a good amount of time.


Rob Cummings, Trademark Consultant - Not an Attorney, a trademark and business problem solver.

Other ways I help avoid and/or resolve trademark problems, and why I think I'm qualified to help you with your trademark-related issues...

Perhaps unlike a trademark attorney and more like in-house intellectual property counsel (that not all can afford), I advise my clients on how to properly use their trademark 'as a trademark' to avoid the risk of losing it - and help with writing very clear and effective descriptions that strengthen marks. Plus I explain many aspects of trademark law and concepts in any trademark case I handle since my clients (for the most part) act Pro Se.

Some hire me for a second opinion when represented by a trademark firm, and, in these cases, I am pleased (and always a bit surprised) to say that I have uncovered solutions that these firms have overlooked - in large trademark cases where winning is critical to the continued success of the business.

Since I am not an Attorney, and have become a trademark and business consultant through life experience and self-education, I cannot help you with any other type of law other than business law and trademark problems and issues.

However, perhaps my knack for getting to the heart of trademark problems is my prior training in problem solving and because my judgment is not clouded by other types of civil law (which is far different than trademark and business law). It may also be that I am extremely determined and persistent, if I feel there is a way to win I pursue it to the end, and, like a dentist pulling teeth, I want to fix that tooth in the most effective manner, once and for all, and not deal with it again.

Of course no one can say they can win every trademark case, however, my track record so far has been very good - and the solutions I have developed have worked.


 

Clients are saying things that are very rewarding:

"I ran this by a trademark attorney who agreed with your assessments. He said you seem to have a good grasp of these matters ;)"

"I think we make a good team... seeing things from different angles helps a lot."

"Your Opposition is brilliant. I appreciate the whole thought process, the way you grasped the problem, and how you distilled the allegations to the simple truthful essence. I feel very confident in filing it, and thank you so much."

"They commence with a well funded very vicious attack - but 'how the mighty have fallen'. Like you once said: 'They started it' but we certainly finished it 'big time'. Thanks very much indeed for your incredible insights, vigilance and assistance."

"Really, really impressive work. Thanks so much for this."

"All I can say is you've earned my deepest respect, really. Now I understand things that I didn't before, thanks to the way you explained everything."

"Thanks so much for pointing out the risk associated with the Mark they proposed we change ours to, and also for scaring the crap out of me."

"I have spent thousands upon thousands with attorneys, and the money spent with you was well worth it!"

"Thanks Rob. I agree with your points. I think we make a good team... seeing
things from different angles helps a lot."

"They filed the withdrawal today. Thank you for all the help and input you provided. You definitely know trademark issues and can draw a good strategy for the resolution."

"I just finished reviewing your work and I must say you are an excellent researcher! You seem to pay a lot more attention to detail than most IP lawyers would, you clearly have a passion for what you do."

"I am encouraged by your research and thoughtful analysis, and love the fact that
there's at least a chance we could keep the name."

"Just wanted to express my appreciation for everything that you're doing. Really love the work, the thought, the strategy. Totally awesome. Regardless of how this turns out - you're making an unpleasant experience much easier. (Kind of like a good dentist!!)"

"Impressive work. You're providing really good value. Thank you!"

"All the thanks go to you Rob, we never could have done it without you!"

"Just a quick note to thank you for your help. You were genuine, pushed me when I needed a push, and patiently waded through my "venting" at the end. Your assessments were honest and on-target, and I appreciate it."

"I really appreciate all your help with this matter. Instead of me mucking around and slowly coming up to speed on the issues, with your help, I was able to get a quick and very helpful understanding of the matter and what would be good to do. Again, I really appreciate it."

"Thanks for the great work. I really appreciate your thoroughness and the quality/substance of your report."

"I want to thank you for your expertise, your patience, your understanding, your responsiveness, and that I was able to successfully prevail."

"You definitely know your stuff. Glad I found you!"

"Wow - you are good!"

"Why didn't my own attorney tell me what you explained or mention it?"

"Thanks again, well worth the money."

"In my case, I have asked a trademark lawyer friend at one of the biggest firms to help me out, but even he thought I had little chance of winning. Now we have proved him wrong."

"Yes, you made the best argument!! No questions on this and we are impressed!"

"As an experienced attorney I still could not have done this without you."

"You've ALREADY done more for me in a few minutes than my attorney did for me in one year."

There have been many, many, many more comments like the above from civil attorneys, trademark attorneys, and individuals around the world.

If you are about to apply for a trademark, (or have applied for a trademark and are unsure if the application was completed properly), I can help avoid future problems. 

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Other trademark-related pages:

Need help with a trademark problem now?


Rob Cummings, Trademark Consultant - Not an Attorney, a trademark problem solver.

Contact me for more about trademarks, service marks and branding, and/or if you need help with a trademark application or problem.

Some of the prices for what I do are in the online store under 'trademarks'.


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