Jeremy Peter Green Eche is a branding attorney and the founder of JPG Legal. He is the attorney of record for over 1,500 U.S. trademark registrations. In 2019, JPG Legal was ranked the #16 law firm in the United States by number of federal trademark applications filed. Eche graduated from Northwestern University School of Law on a full scholarship.
Eche has been profiled on USA Today, CNBC, CNN Money, NPR's Morning Edition, WIRED, MSNBC, the New York Daily News, HLN, CNN Politics, DCist, Vox.com, CNET, Mic.com, NBC News, Refinery29, the Globe and Mail, and several other news sources. He is best known for owning ClintonKaine.com and hosting his comics there during the 2016 election, before selling the domain.
Eche is based in DUMBO, Brooklyn in New York City. He formerly served as in-house General Counsel for Teamsters Local 922 in Washington, DC. He is married to Stephanie Eche, an artist and creative consultant.
You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may not be surprised to learn that clients frequently ask me how to come up with a brand name that they can successfully register as a trademark. Sometimes they ask after we give them a negative legal opinion about the name they had already chosen. Other times they ask after they get a major refusal from the USPTO and have to go back to the drawing board.
Over the years, I refined and augmented my answer to this question until it grew into a semi-comprehensive guide. In this post I will:
- Go over some trademark basics to keep in mind when coming up with a name for your business.
- Discuss additional naming factors entrepreneurs should consider, beyond conventional trademark law.
- Tell you what strategies I use when trying to think of a new brand name, especially if I’m having trouble thinking of anything.
- Explain how to do a very basic trademark search on your brand name idea before you start investing time and money into it.
For those who aren’t familiar, Amazon Brand Registry is a program offered to Amazon sellers that gives them access to many enhanced branding tools to help them better connect with potential customers and differentiate themselves from competitors. Perhaps most importantly, it allows Amazon sellers to remove listings that infringe on their trademark rights, including counterfeiters, “listing hijackers,” and sellers in the same industry whose brand names are simply too similar to that of the trademark owner.
Until about two months ago, we used to tell clients that Amazon only accepts sellers with fully registered trademarks for their Brand Registry program. This meant a wait time of 8-12 months before clients could get Amazon US Brand Registry access, because that’s about how long it takes to get a trademark registered in the United States if everything goes smoothly.
April 22, 2021 Update: Amazon has changed the wording on its Brand Registry page since I wrote this blog post, making its requirements more ambiguous. From our own experience, however, almost all of our clients with pending trademark applications are currently being approved for Amazon Brand Registry. For example, we filed a trademark application for a houseplant brand nine days ago and they just got Amazon Brand Registry access today. Strangely, a client that sells children’s books was denied access to Brand Registry last week with their pending application, and they were told to try again when their trademark was fully registered. So apparently there are exceptions.Read the rest of this post »
While JPG Legal has always had some kind of commercial space, it’s never been simply a 9-to-5 job for me, so my home setup has always been about as important as my commercial space setup. I’ve managed our law firm from four different home offices including a basement apartment, a group house, and a cramped shoebox in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
I still walk to JPG Legal’s oversized loft office in DUMBO, Brooklyn about three days a week, but my work life would be very stressful if I didn’t also have a great setup at home. I’ve also had to work while visiting family and in-laws, sometimes for periods of a month or more, so being able to set up a makeshift home office while traveling is important to me.Read the rest of this post »
The last few months have confirmed something that I’ve thought for years, but could never be totally sure of until now: JPG Legal is a recession business. We’re the budget brand that people buy at the supermarket when their preferred brand starts to seem extravagant. More and more small and mid-sized businesses are digging deeper for savings and ditching their conventional attorneys for our lower fees and transparent pricing.
Last year my goal was to finish 2019 with over $1 million in revenue, a number we hit in mid-December. This year we passed $1 million in mid-July, on track to finish 2020 at about $1.9 million. Less than two years ago this firm was just my solo practice, and now there are about to be six of us: me, three attorneys, a paralegal, and a legal assistant who will start here in August. Following a brief revenue dip in March when the global business ecosystem was adapting to changing conditions, our monthly revenue has continued its upward trend.Read the rest of this post »
It’s been about five or six weeks since the COVID-19 pandemic suddenly started having a large impact on businesses in the U.S. and the rest of the world. JPG Legal’s clientele is about 50% U.S.-based and 50% international, representing virtually every industry, so our revenue serves as a sort of microcosm of the global economy.
Our monthly gross revenue for March ended up at $123,538, down from February’s record monthly revenue of $143,478. But when March is broken down into two halves, the numbers are much scarier.Read the rest of this post »
Things are good, but also weird here at JPG Legal. We’re busier than we’ve ever been, by far, and we have two new attorneys starting here soon, but they’re not starting until early and mid-April, respectively.
What makes this weird is that I’m not sure if the new attorneys will even be able to come to the office to get oriented if the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to get worse here in New York City. I hesitate even to write about the virus because whatever I write will likely seem like old news in as little as two or three days.
I woke up on Monday, March 9 (two days ago) and noticed that the tone of the news had changed drastically over the weekend regarding coronavirus. Later that day I picked up a few USB headsets and gave the team the option to work from home every day until further notice. I’m still coming in every day because I live within walking distance, but everybody else takes the subway to get here, so it seems best to let them stay put.
Our norm was already to have people come in only three days a week anyway, and we give everybody powerful Macbook Pros, so the transition to full-remote is so minor that I really had no excuse for making people come in. As you can see in the tweet below, my mom is proud of me for letting everybody work from home!Read the rest of this post »
Musician and recording artist names are arguably one of the most complicated topics in trademark law. Just ask the Bernie Sanders campaign.
One of the first trademark applications I ever filed was for a teenager who produced hip hop beats and rapped over them, before I knew what goods/services a musician’s trademark should be registered for. In case you’re new to this field, trademarks must be registered for specific goods and services identifications (“IDs”) that are categorized into 45 classes. I filed for “music composition services” in Class 41, the education and entertainment class.
I then spent the next eight months trying to fix that massive error, ultimately filing a new application after being refused by the USPTO several times. Music composition services means writing songs to be performed by other artists. This is a very difficult service to submit a specimen for. I thought I was finally saved when I found a listing on a beats-making website by my client where he was offering a beat for sale. Even this got rejected because my client wasn’t composing custom music for other artists, he was composing music and then selling it to other artists.
I finally ended up having to file a new application at my own expense for the correct goods/services IDs, ones that are easier to submit specimens for. Similar issues can arise if you file for music production, music recording, music publishing, music video production, etc. These are all meant to be services performed for recording artists, not by the recording artist, so they should only be filed for if the artist offers these services in that way, and only in combination with goods/services IDs that are easier to provide specimens for (more on those soon).Read the rest of this post »
If you’ve followed my Twitter account or heard my interview on NPR’s Morning Edition, you know I’m a huge supporter of Senator Bernie Sanders. Sanders is what happens when a genuine, on-the-ground activist and organizer somehow manages to get real institutional power, without compromising their values. This has probably never happened in modern U.S. politics, and it’s terrifying not only to the very wealthy, but also to the status-quo-dependent subclass of political consultants, lobbyists, lawyers, pundits, pollsters, and politicians whose livelihoods he threatens.
We live in a time when we’re seeing many radical icons who were active between the 50s and the 80s, including Dolores Huerta, John Lewis, and most recently Jello Biafra of Dead Kennedys, soften and become moderate, corporate-leaning Democrats whose politics are to right of the average 30 year-old Democratic voter.
This is why for me and many other leftists, it came as a great relief when we saw the below promotional poster for a Bernie Sanders/Public Enemy concert happening today in California. Public Enemy, perhaps the single most important anti-establishment entity in hip hop, has not sold out their less fortunate contemporaries, nor all of us who entered the workforce around or after the crash of 2008 and generally do not see the Obama administration as a utopian ideal that we need to return to.Read the rest of this post »