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How to book a trademark problem initial investigation.
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Rob Cummings, Trademark Consultant -
Not an Attorney, a trademark and business problem solver.

To get started resolving any trademark problem, please follow steps below:

To get started, buy '1' Initial Review below

In-depth preliminary investigation is how I help overcome trademark problems and how I've helped win cases.

While every case does not require an Initial Review as described below, most do.

The purpose of the Initial Review is to try to determine as quickly as possible if your trademark problem can be solved either by winning or settling with the other party.

Usually in the 3 hours of the Initial Review I can determine and explain what your chances ot prevailing or settling may be, and if it is worthwhile to proceed.

In some cases about 2 1/2 hours into the Initial Review I realize I cannot make a determination, need to read and assess more things, and in that event I show you my findings and ask if you wish to book the extra time I will tell you I need at that time.

I may find your chances of prevaling or settling your trademark problem are hopeless and if so will explain why.

If I find your chances of prevailing or settlement are good we then we can take next steps which may be a trademark settlement offer letter or other action.

I am extremely familiar with all the ins and outs of US trademark procedure and therefore can help a great deal after the Initial Review if this a US trademark opposition, cancellation, office action, or you wish to object to the mark of another party as opposer.

If this is a trademark problem outside the US, the Initial Review will help your attorneys with the defense and settlement steps, or if hopeless save you a lot of time and money.

Most of this page is written for US trademark problems though I help with trademark problems worldwide as they are all very similar.

A trademark opposition or cancellation is a serious business problem, a law suit in a lower federal court, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board - or - if you have no US Federal Trademark a claim of infringement can easily become a law suit in District Court.

You should know that even if you abandon a Mark as a result of an infringement claim, you still may be held liable for the period of time the infringement occurred.

Many are surprised to read the US Federal Law about civil action based on trademark infringement and to see how it potentially applies to their own situation. International and country-specific laws have similar remedies for trademark infringement.

My procedures go to a depth and scope few attorneys have time for or even consider.

From a business and trademark perspective, I help assess the risks and rewards, the benefits and the liabilities, the merit or lack of it, in a way attorneys often cannot.

The main difference between me and a trademark attorney is my 30+ years design, naming, marketing and business experience. Read the DuPont Factors and you'll find most trademark problems are based on marketing and promotion and not so much law.

Recent changes to TTAB Rules and Procedure require a pre-trial settlement discussion.
If for an opposition or cancellation, the Initial Review (available below) provides detail and investigation helpful in pretrial settlement discussion, and more important, avoiding statements in pretrial settlement discussion that could be unintentionally harmful.

To start >> you book 1 Initial Review, and I spend the time setting up your account and creating an informal report so that I know just enough to begin to discuss this with you.

I manage issues in two stages: The Initial Review, then, if all looks good in the Initial Review, I ask for your approval to book additional time at my current hourly rate to proceed, and we can proceed in blocks of 3, 5, 7, 9 or more hours per block.

If we determine we need to proceed to an answer to an Opposition or Petition to Cancel, or file an opposition or cancellation (in the US) I shall likely ask you book '7' here at the current minimum rate.

If we determine that we need to do other things like a cease and desist letter, business letter to the other party, settlement offer letter, respond to an Office Action, or take other actions, or if I find I need more time to research than I had in the 3 hours of the Initial Review, I then ask you to approve the time to do these things at my current hourly rate and you will entirely understand the reason why.

If all does not look good in the Initial Review, I tell you and we stop right there.

You may also take the Initial Review to attorneys and others so they quickly understand, and attorneys can show or share the Initial Review with their clients.

Everything I do is always with your best interests in mind, fully explained in plain English, often layman's terms, and treated with the same concern as if the issues were my own.

Of greatest value to you is my 30+ years of brand and marketing experience, and being a researcher, writer, designer, and close follower of business trends. This enables me to interpret findings in unique ways, helping develop strategies others may overlook.

You will also appreciate how thorough, responsive and attentive I am, as well as the logical and easy to understand step by step manner in which we proceed, and you will learn more about trademarks than you ever knew possible.

The first step is to book the time for the Initial 3-hour Review below.

! Learn more about hourly billing methods and how this works after Initial Review >>

To start: > Book Time online just once below, click "Add to Cart" , 'Checkout'

Works worldwide. All charges accepted in $USD as ESSENTUALE and appear on your next statement.

You'll get two email receipts after checkout and so will I:

  • 1. Order Confirmation (when ordered - instantly)

  • 2. Your Order Has Been Shipped (when booked - usually same day)

    "Order Shipped" indicates the time for your project time is booked.

"Order Shipped' means booked, a project number is assigned by email in the invoice.

I receive the same emails and place a copy in a yellow folder with a time sheet.

You book time, the invoice number places time you booked in my schedule, you created an account, and I have a project number from which I deduct time by the 1/4 hour.

You get an instant email confirmation and the Initial Review is scheduled.

Note: The Initial Review cannot proceed until the time is booked directly below.

After you book the Initial Review (below) the invoice receipt places your Initial Review on my schedule, while instantly sending you and me a receipt as shown above.

If you wish, you may use the Contact Form to send the serial number, opposition, or cancellation number and any comments, or I will contact you at the email address you provided when you booked the time above.


1. Book time for your Initial Review
: (required)

Click one below, then 'add to shopping cart' in the page that appears. Follow the simple instructions for checkout. Takes less than 5 minutes.

For an OPPOSITION, click here, then Add to Cart
To book an Initial Review, click then "add to shopping cart"
Change quantity to '2' if you've been told your case is complex
or asked to enter a quantity other than '1'.


For a Cancellation, click here, then Add to Cart
To book an Initial Review, click then "add to shopping cart"
Change quantity to '2' if you've been told your case is complex
or asked to enter a quantity other than '1'.


For any other problem, click here, then Add to Cart
Any other trademark problem or matter

To book an Initial Review, click then "add to shopping cart"
Change quantity to '2' if you've been told your case is complex
or asked to enter a quantity other than '1'.


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2. I reply, we proceed by email and phone, you see the findings in the Initial Review. Then we take the next steps.

The Initial Review will help whether or not you have an attorney, or are an attorney.

Since each case is different, even with some basic similarities, no one can knowledgably discuss this with you before knowing the details.

After preliminary questions (if necessary), I proceed with a specific method and process designed to confirm, verify, identify or discover issues related to the trademark problem.

Sent as a PDF or sometimes as an email thread, the Initial Review is an investigative trademark problem report you can read, forward to others, and utilize throughout the entire process.

The Initial Review covers the details, confirms, verifies, and provides insight into the Office Action, Opposition, Petition to Cancel or other trademark problem, and includes preliminary assessment from a trademark and business perspective.

The Initial Review is normally required and the first step to solving any trademark problem.

Via email, I then send the Initial Review to you with my initial:

  • findings, comments, concerns

  • thoughts, questions, suggestions, recommendations

  • possible courses of action

  • next steps to consider

  • potential costs

  • chances of winning or losing

In Initial Review, you see how I studied your case, and how I understand it, plus I answer initial questions and clarify where possible - yet this is just the first step.

Simple or complex, I need to know the facts, which is why we start this way.

If you have gathered information or documents, you can get more from my time by putting events in chronological order, confirming dates and numbers and sending me an outline. Please be aware that the more I need to read, the more time it will take - yet the more pertinent information I am aware of, the better.

If you are an attorney, the Initial Review is the best way to see and understand the issue more clearly yourself, and share and collaborate with others if necessary.

If you are not a trademark attorney, the Initial Review shows you how I dissected your trademark problem, explains trademark concepts in layman's terms, helps you learn more about your trademark problem and possible solutions, and helps you analyze the problem from a trademark and business and marketing point of view.

Most links work in the Initial Review Report

When online
, the Initial Review contains links that launch most USPTO and TTAB records, and take you to other information about the parties... information that may be in the News or Press Releases, or other other public records; and relevant images, enabling attorneys and non-attorneys to begin at a higher level of understanding from the outset.

Adobe PDF Reader is free and already installed on most computers.
 Upgrade or install Adobe Reader Free Here. (recommended)

Click to book an Initial Review now.

I presume you've arrived at this page after reading my story.

3. We determine how to proceed based on the findings.

When the three-hour Initial Review is complete no time will remain and you will have the option to proceed at the current hourly rate as described here. <<< Please read.

The next steps and costs, in very general terms...

Everything involving trademark problems depends on the specific case, the nature of the adversary and the complaint, and many other unpredictable factors that often increase yet can decrease the time required.

If for a trademark opposition or cancellation:

A very general 'best guess' at potential costs after the Initial Review, the minimum time required for an answer to an Opposition or Petition to Cancel is 7 hours..

After the answer, the next steps involve a Discovery Conference along with Rule 26 Initial Disclosures, and for these you should expect the time to be about 15-20 hours.

If your problem relates to an Office Action or other trademark problem, you should expect at least a need for 10 hours of my time in addition to the Initial Review.

In all matters I proceed in blocks of 3, 5, 7 or 9 hours per block as described here.

My services often augment yet are not intended as a substitute for advice from a knowledgeable and qualified trademark attorney licensed to practice trademark law.

If you wish to discuss first... Understanding I will know little about your case, and therefore not recommended, you may click your choice below to book a half-hour or one hour phone consultation. I will contact you shortly after I see the time booked.

Book 1/2 hour      Book 1 hour       Book Opposition Initial Review (recommended)

To process the great deal of information and manipulate it, I use multiple monitors; legal, graphic, video, audio, text-to-speech readers, OCR, PDF-to-text software, Android phones, and more, and take full advantage of every tool I can find in doing the work I do in the Initial Review and afterwards to be most efficient.

Clients and attorneys are saying great things and great things have been happening...

"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.

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

More about the Initial Review:

Rarely the answer, Initial Review is the first step to the answer.

I help win cases and overcome trademark problems with investigation and information I gain from a process that begins with the Initial Review.

The Initial Review document often must be updated and supplemented with other facts we use now and/or later found after the first 3 hours spent. I start with 3 hours to keep your costs down (in the event I see no hope) and to familiarize myself with the case.

My success has been based on indisputable facts and 'merit' rather than case law.

My method and approach combine a number of disciplines including business law, marketing, branding, and of course, trademark concepts.

The first thing I do in the Initial Review is confirm the facts of the case, and learn a bit more, though it takes more than 3 hours (typically) to get a handle on these matters and then determine what to do.

As we proceed, you purchase blocks of time explained here to cover the time we talk by phone and/or email, for my continued review of certain documents - and for the time it takes me to read, review, investigate, help write and assess various letters, actions, motions, agreements and other documents for you - and explain these to you.

I feel it's necessary for you to understand why I recommend certain courses of action, though absolutely impossible for me to explain all at once.

Therefore, I explain as we go, in plain language and layman's terms, while I also point you to information and resources.

The Initial Review documents your case, and in the event we need to turn to an attorney, or if you are an attorney, the Initial Review makes the case quick to understand.

Since the work requires so much reading and detail, we work nearly entirely via email.

Not an Attorney, I've found my approach, methodology, business experience, tenacity, and true desire to win, helps overcome trademark problems.

My initial effort often results in discoveries seasoned Attorneys overlook, and has resulted in successful outcomes.

Most trademark cases are more complex than they first appear. I do my best to get to a good resolution as quickly as possible. Even so, many still take years.

I have found that many do not properly understand the relationship between the legal and the business aspects of trademark problems, manly because they never were involved.

Therefore I bring a unique perspective to any trademark problem, and often surprise attorneys with the way that I help identify and avoid problems, and interpret things.

I work with Attorneys and non-Attorneys, in the background, helping people make informed and thoughtful decisions that they execute at each required step - based on my writing, investigations, and recommendations.

Without retainer or contract, you purchase blocks of time as needed and when needed. General fees are shown here for guidance. These blocks can be in 3, 5, 7 or 10 hour increments in most cases.

If you have any questions about my approach or abilities, please see:

If you landed on this page without letting me know your trademark problem, use this contact form. A link at the bottom will send you back to this page.

If you wish to discuss your issues before initial review by phone or email, please buy a minimum of '1' here.

My services often augment yet are not intended as a substitute for advice from a knowledgeable lawyer licensed to practice trademark law, however, my life experience helps whether or not you have an attorney at the outset or later or are an attorney.

Contact me if you have any questions or concerns at any time.

Thanks very much,

/rob cummings/


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