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Attorneys and non-attorneys
Have a trademark problem? click here
Trademark Problems : Update
I am a trademark consultant, not an Attorney,
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.
wish I found you long ago, for trademark and marketing solutions."
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.
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:
Doctors, there are two types, good and bad:
In helping with trademark and business, I act like the good Doctor:
When I deal with professionals - business, accounting, legal - even medical - I trust the one that thinks like me and:
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):
disturbing, in a number of cases clients have come to me with, I identified
key aspects entirely overlooked.
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
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.
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:
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).
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 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.
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.
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.
clients that come to me have larger issues than I expected, involving
major law firms, and well known parties.
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.
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.
example of my approach to solving trademark problems...
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.
trademark process is based on short, plain, simple statements that cannot
be misconstrued and that are understood by all - Attorneys, non-Attorneys,
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.
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.
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.
ways I help avoid and/or resolve trademark problems, and why I think I'm
qualified to help you with your trademark-related issues...
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
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.
are saying things that are very rewarding:
"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
"I want to thank you for your expertise, your patience, your understanding, your responsiveness, and that I was able to successfully prevail."
definitely know your stuff. Glad I found you!"
"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."
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.
Other trademark-related pages:
Need help with a trademark problem now?
Some of the prices for what I do are in the online store under 'trademarks'.
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