Why you need a trademark consultant, non-Attorney, even with a trademark attorney and brand consultant.
Not an attorney, Rob Cummings knows about a lot of things – from training, self-education, and life experience, and helps people and attorneys understand and resolve serious trademark problems.
Have a trademark problem?
I often work directly with and for attorneys and their clients. Attorneys learn the ins and outs of trademarks, trademark problems and methods of resolution as I share my knowledge and thoughts.
I also help people that want to act Pro Se (on their own) without an attorney.
I explain trademark infringement issues from a business and branding perspective in a step by step logical and easy to understand manner.
As a trademark consultant, I combine business and trademark concepts to help:
a) Between you and the trademark office and examiner
b) With you and your Attorney
c) As a consultant helping directly (if you are Pro Se – on your own)
d) Between you and the Opposer, infringer, adversary, or other party
e) Initially, before you file a trademark application
I am not an Attorney, not licensed as an Attorney, and do not practice law – yet I can help in ways that combine business, trademark, and sensible approaches that are smart, affordable, and often more effective:
assessing trademark problems
resolving trademark problems
developing better strategy
assessing all options – legal and out of court
explaining trademark concepts few readily understand
last resort – or sometimes best option – negotiations and settlement
After 30+ years of design, branding and marketing experience as cummingsdesign, I learned a great deal since my own trademark problem and realized I understand the DuPont Factors better than most do – and it all clicked.
Unlike trademark attorneys, I know little about civil law, yet I do have a good grasp of trademark concepts, and solutions that many Attorneys may overlook.
Though I help understand and draft documents, carefully research, analyze, and report on underlying facts and issues, I act as a consultant and not an Attorney.
I do not file documents, or in any way present myself as an Attorney.
On the other hand, the work I do is well above paralegal, often well above leading trademark attorneys, more like business problem solving, involves serious investigation and a comprehensive assessment of options, alternatives, contingencies, resulting in a well-conceived strategy – from a trademark, brand, marketing, and business perspective. This produces better solutions, that may reduce legal costs or avoid litigation altogether, and will reduce risk.
I also explain everything I do and the reasons for it, providing insight into issues.
What I do, and the way I do it, is more unique and valuable than I had first thought.
Since I began helping resolve trademark problems (and helping avoid them), it has become evident that I am a valuable asset to those I have helped – and continue to help – with or without qualified trademark counsel.
“I know we never could have put this document together on our own. More importantly, as a result of your explanations, we came away with a much much more clear understanding of the process and all it should involve.”
People contact me (with or without counsel) due to my:
concentration on trademark issues
desire to ‘cut to the chase’
business background and broad experience
systematic approach to problem solving
sheer determination in winning
It helps to have a mind in between law and business – in dramatic ways.
I want to remain the type of trademark advisor or consultant I wish I could have found with my own personal trademark problem that started all of this…
a reasonable grasp of trademark law and concepts
a reasonable grasp of business law and business concepts
an analytical mind to help develop options and alternatives
the ability to look past the ‘trademark law only’ aspects
a real desire to win and solve problems, nipping them in the bud
the ability to clearly communicate
the time to explain options in clear language
the tenacity and persistence to look beyond the obvious
I am finding the work I do, and my approach, and the way I help from a trademark as well as a business perspective, is more complete and more comprehensive, and thus more certain to produce a positive outcome – never a guarantee however – than many leading Attorneys and trademark and intellectual property firms that I have witnessed the work of since I began offering trademark consulting.
Now, with a greater number of cases under my belt – and more coming in all the time – most with significant law firms and clients involved (just recently eBay) – I have learned that what I offer is more unique and more needed than I had initially thought or realized.
Though difficult and challenging, more time consuming and involving deeper thought, my approach seems to be very viable (and valuable), and my plan is to continue to consult as a trademark consultant and non-Attorney – and never attempt to become an Attorney.
I’m not an Attorney, yet continue to find I do more than many Attorneys.
It all started with my own personal trademark case(s), and now, by helping others, I have read and learned even more than I knew then – and continue to. In my own case, I read over 500 other trademark-related cases.
At this point, I have likely read over 1000 trademark-related cases, maybe more, to increase my effectiveness and help provide best outcomes.
In addition, I offer logical business advice to help avoid future trademark problems.
“… you brought up points that we would have never thought to address.”
Rob Cummings, Trademark Consultant – Not an Attorney, a trademark and business problem solver.
Probably best, I can think like an Attorney, yet also like business thinks.
In thinking ‘within the legal box’ and outside it – in the real world of business – I offer solutions that ‘in the box’ Attorneys simply do not always consider.
No guarantee, yet my guarantee – more time, more effort, more consulting.
No one, Attorney or non-Attorney, can offer a 100% guarantee, and I cannot offer any guarantee either. However, I do have a different perspective as a business consultant than that of most Attorneys – and perhaps a different outlook.
I will guarantee that I will do everything I feel is needed to resolve your situation and move it forward in the most positive direction – with the least risk – and explain my choices and suggestions to you as we go.
One of my ‘theories’ is that the truly qualified trademark lawyers, at $1000/hour, simply cannot spend the time or effort to look more deeply into cases, and to have the luxury of the time to develop a swift and poignant resolution.
“Why didn’t my Attorney think of that, or even bring it up?”
Attorneys that are generalists have a difficult time understanding trademarks, and many leave it to the experts – trademark attorneys.
Expert Trademark Attorneys seem to lack time needed to assess strategies, research, explore, and explain options and potential outcomes with clients.
Many Trademark Attorneys know law inside and out, yet have never had business experience (outside of the legal world).
Therefore, it’s not uncommon for the best attorney to lack knowledge of customary practices, psychology, marketing, salesmanship, people and negotiating skills.
What’s wrong with a boilerplate solution?
Many seem to apply ‘boilerplate’ solutions, perhaps due to budget restraints, yet boilerplate solutions protract matters, cause delay, often fail to de-escalate situations, and sometimes cause more problems than they solve.
As in any disagreement, sometimes a thoughtful, researched, and well-founded explanation can nip a problem in the bud – yet to research, analyze, assess, and distill that ‘business solution’ also takes time and effort.
I feel time and effort ‘upfront’ is the best investment. It worked in my case, and is working for others I help. Though not the ‘$2 solution’, the savings later appear to be quite significant.
Developing a strong defense from the outset seems to be the best approach.
None of this is to say that there are not great and highly qualified intellectual property and trademark practitioners, that their services are not valuable, or that I have any disrespect for any qualified trademark practitioner or Attorney.
As in any field, some are truly brilliant, while others are simply not as brilliant, and some are more committed to cut to the chase, while others are less dedicated to a swift resolution – or simply don’t have the time or resources or budget.