A few clients have asked me: Can you trademark a fruit? Not the name of the company selling the fruit, but the fruit itself?
Yes, you can. One of my clients recently trademarked their fruit name, getting recognition for this feat from The New York Times earlier this year.
Goldenberry Farms’ “Sweet Sugar Mango” Trademark Grabs U.S. Spotlight in The New York Times
Mangoes, with their lush flavors and vibrant colors, have been a beloved fruit across many cultures. But mangoes come in many variations, and some stand out for their distinctive flavors.
From the fertile grounds of Colombia emerges such a mango, with distinctive branding to match – known to the world as the “Sweet Sugar Mango” or “Sugar Mango,” courtesy of our client, Goldenberry Farms.Read the rest of this post »
We are excited to announce that JPG Legal has been recognized by Forbes Advisor as one of the top trademark filing services. Though we weren’t the highest rated service overall, we proudly stood out as the highest rated law firm on the list, demonstrating our commitment to providing top-tier legal services to our clients.
The three services rated higher than our firm are all large “legal services” companies, not law firms staffed with lawyers.
The Forbes Advisor assessment, available at this link, commends our firm for various standout features that set us apart in the field of trademark registration.Read the rest of this post »
Why JPG Legal is Stagnant and Communer is Growing
I have two companies, Communer and JPG Legal, with thoroughly different business models.
The first, JPG Legal, is a law firm, which is a kind of professional or personal service company. Though we don’t bill by the hour like other law firms, our clients still pay for the time and effort of qualified employees.
Because we’re a personal service company, our business is not scalable. In other words, JPG Legal is not a “startup.” Any growth in revenue we experience must be accompanied by an increase in prices or in hours worked by employees. Our margins are relatively low and they don’t increase when our business gets bigger. We also don’t have a “moat” to protect us from competitors copying our business model, which further limits our growth.
- Why JPG Legal is Stagnant and Communer is Growing
- Aren’t Many of the Biggest Startups Personal Service Businesses?
- Personal Service Businesses Face High Competition That Worsens over Time, Especially When Using Ads
- New Competitors Can Compete with Ad-Dependent Service Businesses Without a War Chest
- What Does This Have to Do with Startups Vs. Non-Startups?
- JPG Legal’s Plateau
- What Makes a Business a Startup?
- The Rise of Communer, My “Startup”
Aren’t Many of the Biggest Startups Personal Service Businesses?
You might point out that many of the biggest, most successfully scaled startups provide personal services, like Uber or DoorDash. However, these companies are not personal service businesses themselves, they’re marketplaces for third party service providers. They don’t have to take on new employees to provide services when demand goes up.Read the rest of this post »
If you’ve tried to submit any trademark filings in the US after August 6, you might have been surprised to see that the USPTO now requires you to get your identification verified by something called ID.me. You may have wondered, “What is this? Do I really have to do this? How much work is this going to be?”
Here are my answers to these questions, along with some context.
- What Is ID.me and What Does It Have to Do with Trademarks?
- Why Is the USPTO Using ID.me?
- Details of the New ID.me Verification Requirement
- Is There Any Exception to the ID.me Requirement? Can I Skip It?
- JPG Legal’s Experience with ID.me Verification
- Is ID.me Worth the Hassle for Trademark Applicants and Registrants?
What Is ID.me and What Does It Have to Do with Trademarks?
ID.me is a private company that offers identity verification services and has contracts with various government agencies including the IRS and several state unemployment offices.
Citing its own unproven estimate that hundreds of millions of dollars are lost each year due to unemployment fraud, ID.me convinced dozens of state unemployment agencies to hire it to screen applicants for unemployment insurance.Read the rest of this post »
Updated April 30, 2023
People often ask me how often you have to renew a trademark in the United States. I wish the answer were simple. I could say “every ten years” and technically be correct, but that would be misleading because it doesn’t actually answer the question people are asking.
- Okay, That’s Nice, But How Often Do You Have To Renew a Trademark?
- Trademark Renewal Timeline
- Why Are the Language and the Timeline for Trademark Renewals so Confusing?
- Does the U.S. Trademark Renewal Timeline Start on the Registration Date or the Application Filing Date?
- Is the U.S. the Only Country that Requires a Trademark Renewal/Filing after Six Years? Why?
- When Is the Filing Window for a Trademark Renewal or Maintenance?
- How Do I See When My Trademark Renewal Is Due?
- When Should You Hire an Attorney to Renew Your Trademark Registration?
Yes, it’s true that you don’t need to file a Section 9 renewal for your U.S. trademark until 9 to 10 years after your trademark is registered, and every ten years after that. But there’s something else that you have to file between five and six years after you reach registration, and for some reason the USPTO doesn’t call it a renewal.Read the rest of this post »
As you may already know, our firm files a lot of applications for music trademarks. One client of ours, Juhn, has managed to hit it big within the last couple of years. He wisely hired us in 2019 to file a trademark application for “Juhn” when his streaming numbers were in the single-digit millions.
As a fan of Latin trap and a resident of Loisaida in Manhattan at the time, I was very excited that the Puerto Rico-based artist had decided to work with JPG Legal to secure his name. Two years later, the reggaeton song “Bandido” that he co-wrote and performed with Myke Towers has over half a billion streams on Spotify alone.
Because he took action when he was 100 times less famous than he is now, he doesn’t have to worry about counterfeiters and artists with similar names filing trademark applications. He reached registration in late 2020 and now his name is secure.
Sadly, many of the musicians who hire us only start thinking about trademark rights when one of three things happens:Read the rest of this post »
When you file a trademark application, you have to file for specific goods or services within one or more of the 45 trademark classes. A software trademark can fall under class 9 or class 42, depending on what type of software it is. Many trademark applicants file for software in the wrong class. This mistake is very easy to make.
In this guide, I’ll go over the differences between the two main trademark classes for software and how to choose the right one. I’ll then give examples of specimens and allegations-of-use using two hypothetical examples: a downloadable app and a web-based SaaS product.Read the rest of this post »
It can be easy to overlook legal matters that seem unnecessary while developing your business. More importantly, hiring lawyers and filing paperwork may seem like a financial luxury you can’t yet afford. However, avoiding legal matters could lead to issues with compliance, contracts, or stolen intellectual property down the road.
Not hiring lawyers because of financial concerns is one of the most common legal mistakes that startup founders make. In addition, some business owners also neglect to sign well-defined shareholder contracts for fear of driving potential investors away.
These issues may not seem imminently important, but not handling them early in the process can lead to expensive litigation. Accounting for these legal factors is necessary for a successful business.Read the rest of this post »