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Branding and business strategy from a trademark attorney and founder.

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About the Jewish Lawyer

Jeremy with somebody else's dog.

 

Jeremy Peter Green Eche is a branding attorney and the founder of JPG Legal and Communer. He is the attorney of record for over 2,500 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. Thomson Reuters selected him as a Super Lawyers Rising Star in Intellectual Property for 2021.

 

Eche has been profiled on USA Today, CNBC, CNN Money, NPR's Morning Edition, WIRED, MSNBC, Forbes, the New York Daily News, HLN, CNN Politics, DCist, ABA Journal, Vox.com, CNET, Mic.com, NBC News, Refinery29, the Globe and Mail, and several other news sources. Before becoming a trademark attorney, he was known for owning ClintonKaine.com and hosting his comics there during the 2016 election, before selling the domain.

 

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Eche is based in 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 info@jpglegal.com.

Protecting Your Business 101: Lawsuits, Cybercrimes, and More

A person in business casual clothing sitting in front of five monitors with various data displayed on them. The lighting in the room is low and there is a small glass of water on the desk in front of the person.

Most business owners are worried about cash flow and sales. After all, regardless of your industry, the main goal is to earn profits. 

However, protecting those profits is also essential. Legal issues, cybercrimes, and other problems can wreak havoc on a small business. It is vital to adopt practices that protect your business. 

Failure to have the proper protections in place can lead to a wide range of legal and security problems. Even companies that escape lawsuits and financial losses may end up with a damaged reputation and ongoing issues with customers, vendors, or employees. 

The dangers are real for small businesses. For example, a 2019 survey by Keeper Security found that two-thirds of small business owners do not expect to be victims of cyberattacks. However, 67% did experience a security breach. 

Meanwhile, a civil lawsuit can prove ruinous. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), the cost of such legal action can be between $3,000 and $150,000. In 2018, liability suits cost companies $343 billion. Small businesses shouldered a disproportionate amount of these penalties. More than half of the judgments, $182 billion, were against smaller firms

Businesses need to protect against legal and cybersecurity issues. Failing to do so can be costly and cause significant setbacks. 

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How To Reinvent and Reinvigorate Your Hiring Strategy

How To Reinvent and Reinvigorate Your Hiring Strategy

To find and retain the right people for your company, you’ll need a hiring strategy — a plan that helps you consistently fill job openings with qualified hires. Your hiring strategy should inform every stage of a potential employee’s onboarding process, from their first interview to a formal offer.

With the right hiring strategy, you can minimize turnover and place employees into company roles where they thrive. A poor or incomplete hiring process can frustrate candidates, compromise productivity, and even result in the wrong person filling a position.

If you’re invested in your company’s hiring process, it’s important to optimize your strategy in ways that attract top industry talent.

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What a Startup Needs To Be Successful

People in multi-colored clothing sitting around a wooden table. On top of a table, there are coffee mugs, a tablet, a small leafy green plant, and a white poster with the words “Start Up” on it.

Only 50% of companies with employees survive beyond the first five years. Though these numbers may appear intimidating, you can work to overcome them. The most successful businesses put a premium on talent, customer focus, strategy, and networking while maintaining core beliefs and practices. Furthermore, it’s vital to discern what legal mistakes every startup company should avoid making.

When first establishing your startup, there are several key steps you’ll need to take to help ensure the success and survival of your business. 

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Valuing a Trademark: How Much Is A Trademark Worth?

Illustration of desk with coffee mug, tablet PC, lamp, and framed trademark certificate. Signed by artist Jeremy Eche.

When appraising a business, the valuation is typically based on revenue, profit, and assets. The calculations can be similar if you’re appraising a popular trademark that generates high revenue. Generally, the revenue of that brand will travel with sale of the trademark.

But for the owner of a little-known or dormant trademark, a totally different process is required to figure out how much your trademark is worth. With an “unused” trademark, revenue is not a factor, so you have to derive the price solely from the inherent value of the trademark registration itself.

This article will tell you how to value a dormant, low-revenue, or “idle” trademark.

As an experienced trademark attorney and trademark broker, I’ve put a lot of thought into how to appraise trademarks. I’ve also brokered many actual trademark transactions through my trademark marketplace, Communer, which has given me insight into how much money buyers are willing to spend on trademarks, and why.

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How to Come up with a Brand Name: A Lawyer’s Advice

Green and purple registered trademark (®) symbol cartoon representing how to come up with a brand name, signed by Jeremy Eche.

You may not be surprised 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 wanted to register. Other times they ask after they get a major refusal from the USPTO and have to think of a new name.

Over the years, I’ve refined and augmented my answer to this question so much that it’s now worth sharing publicly. In this post I will:

  1. Go over some trademark basics to keep in mind when coming up with a name for your business.
  2. Discuss additional naming factors entrepreneurs should consider, beyond conventional trademark law.
  3. Tell you what strategies I use when trying to think of a new brand name, especially if I’m having trouble thinking of anything.
  4. Explain how to do a very basic trademark search on your brand name idea before you start investing time and money into it.
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Amazon Brand Registry Now Accepts Pending Trademark Applications

Updated April 17, 2022
Amazon logo cartoon parody that says "trademarkz".
Illustration by me.

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 selling on Amazon US could get 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 website since I wrote this blog post, making its requirements more ambiguous. From our own experience, however, virtually all of our clients with pending trademark applications are currently being approved for Amazon Brand Registry shortly after we file the applications with the USPTO. For example, we filed a trademark application for a houseplant brand nine days ago and they just got access from Amazon today.

April 17, 2022 Update: The above is still true. Our clients are still getting Amazon Brand Registry access for pending trademark applications that have just been filed. We have clients apply for Amazon Brand Registry about 50 times each month and we’re seeing about one rejection for Amazon Brand Registry for roughly every 100 clients, meaning a 99% success rate. Strangely, there seem to be no similarities among the 1% who get rejected; it’s apparently random.

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Our Law Firm’s Favorite Work-From-Home Gear

Me at my home office setup. Illustration by me.

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. 

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Recession Business Good, Sticky Business Better

Fridge with JPG Legal magnet sticking to it because it's a sticky recession business, while competitor magnets are falling off.
Illustration by me.

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.

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