17 Seconds #18

Trademark tips that should fit snugly on the screen of your favorite device (cough, iPhone, cough).

17 Seconds

What should you do if a competitor has filed a trademark very similar to yours? You basically have several bad options:

Option 1 – Do nothing. Hope they forget to file something (such as a Statement of Use) with the USPTO, go away, and/or go out of business. Issues: free, but outcome uncertain.

Option 2 – Convince them to file an Express Abandonment of their trademark application (http://teas.uspto.gov/rea/) and re-brand. Issues: less expensive, but hard to convince them to do so.

Option 3 – If their trademark has not yet been examined, then file a Letter of Protest with the USPTO (http://www.uspto.gov/trademark/trademark-updates-and-announcements/letter-protest-practice-tip). If their trademark has been published, then file a Request for Extension of Time to File an Opposition (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIvngyjFFdY). Issues: Letters of Protest can sometimes derail a bad trademark application, but Opposition proceedings have all of the issues of Cancellation proceedings (see below).

Option 4 – If the 30-day publication period has passed, then wait until they get a registered trademark and then file a Petition to Cancel. Issues: moderately expensive and takes a long time (probably $30K and 30 months), but outcome pretty certain (you win).

Option 5 – Litigate. Send them a C&D letter, be prepared to litigate in your market or theirs (if they file a Declaratory Judgment action). Issues: most expensive, most time consuming, but outcome pretty certain (you win).

Option 6 – Blog about the situation and let the matter play out in the court of public opinion. But be careful what you say so that you don’t find yourself on the receiving end of a defamation lawsuit! Issues: fun but risky.

Come to think of it, “Fun But Risky” would make a pretty good band name. You’re welcome.

Twitter Tweets by Erik Heels 2008-Present

Because history.

Dear Intertubes:

I’ve been on Twitter for a long time (since 2008, not 2010, which (thanks to a Twitter bug) is what my account indicates). I initially used Twitter a lot, then less, the deleted lots of Tweets, then Twitter broke, and now I care less. But I still care a little. So here are some of the Tweets I saved, to further (and possibly finally) document the Twitter-no-longer-loves-me bug.

Plus because history.



2008 Tweets

2009 Tweets

2010 Tweets

2011 Tweets

2012 Tweets

2013 Tweets

2014 Tweets

2015 Tweets

Erik J. Heels is a patent and trademark lawyer for Boston startups, Red Sox fan, MIT engineer, and musician. He blogs about technology, law, baseball, and rock ‘n’ roll at ErikJHeels.com.

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