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The Legal Blog of Jeremy Peter Green

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About

Jeremy with somebody else's dog.

 

Jeremy Peter Green is a branding attorney and the founder of JPG Legal. He is the attorney of record for over 1,000 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. Green graduated from Northwestern University School of Law on a full scholarship.

 

Green 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.

 

Jeremy's Instagram

Jeremy's Twitter

 

Green is based in DUMBO, Brooklyn in New York City. He formerly served as in-house General Counsel and Webmaster for Teamsters Local 922 in Washington, DC.

 

You may contact him at info@jpglegal.com.

The New USPTO Rule: What Do Foreign Trademark Applicants Need to Do With Their Existing Trademarks?

What Is The New USPTO Rule?

Earlier this summer, the USPTO announced a new rule requiring that all foreign-domiciled trademark applicants and registrants must be represented by an attorney with a U.S. bar license. This rule applies to any applicant “whose permanent legal residence or principal place of business is outside the United States.”

In addition, all attorneys filing trademarks on behalf of clients must now enter the state in which they’re licensed, their date of bar admission, and their state bar number (if applicable in that state). They must also affirm their good standing as an attorney licensed by a U.S. state bar.

Screenshot from the USPTO TEAS Plus trademark filing form.

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How Early Should You Form Your LLC?

Informal Beginnings

When people ask me how long I’ve been running JPG Legal, it’s hard to decide what to say. My first client hired me for trademark work in the summer of 2015, back when I was just Jeremy Peter Green. As I started picking up more clients, I put up a website in mid-2016, filed a trademark application, and registered “JPG Legal” as a DBA (Doing-Business-As, similar to a trade name or fictitious name in other states).

2016 JPG Legal website screenshot
The JPG Legal website on September 28, 2016.
I continued as a sole proprietor for a while. JPG Legal was my day job for a few months, then my side gig for the first half of 2017, and then my day job again after my first Google Ad campaign took off. I wasn’t being lazy or cheap, really; I just knew that as an individual business owner and as an attorney, the difference between being a sole proprietor and being a single-member LLC was negligible, in terms of liability. Attorneys with LLCs are still individually responsible for any ethical issues, and my general impression was that the layer of protection provided by a single member LLC to its owner is pretty thin compared to that of a corporation or an LLC with multiple members.

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Amazon’s Project Zero Means Getting a Trademark Is Now More Important Than Ever


Amazon announced a new program yesterday ambitiously named Project Zero, with the stated goal of “empower[ing] brands to help drive counterfeits to zero.”

Counterfeiters and Listing Hijackers

Counterfeit products and the associated act of “listing hijacking” — where a counterfeiter lists what they claim to be the owner’s product for a lower price so the counterfeiter shows up as the default seller on the owner’s own product listing — have been a major issue for Amazon over the past couple of years. Roughly half of my trademark clients are Amazon sellers, many of whom only initiate the trademark process after they’ve found their listings hijacked.

Previous Solution: Amazon Brand Registry

Until now, Amazon’s main method for dealing with these counterfeiters has been the Amazon Brand Registry, Amazon’s program that gives sellers enhanced branding options including better listing customization as well as the ability to report hijackers, counterfeiters, and other people infringing on the seller’s branding. The only requirement for membership is a registered trademark.
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JPG Legal Update: New Attorney, New Space in Dumbo

The view from our roof.

 

Meet Our New Associate Attorney: Oyebola

Our attorney search is over! Oyebola practiced law in Lagos, Nigeria before coming to New York City and getting an LLM in Intellectual Property at Cardozo Law on a Dean’s Merit Scholarship. She beat out over 200 other applicants to get this position. I believe in Silicon Valley lingo she’s what would be described as a “badass.” You can read a bit more about her on our About page. She’s passed the New York Bar Exam and will be licensed here soon, so she’ll be handling a large portion of our trademarking filing and research.

 

A Bridge Not Too Far

 
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JPG Legal Is Hiring Its First Associate Attorney

It’s finally time. Gross revenue has been at or above $60,000 a month for four straight months now, and I’m barely maintaining my sanity under the weight of my current workload, so I’ve put out a job listing for JPG Legal’s first associate attorney, a full-time position.

 

Hopefully, after some training, this person will lighten my workload enough that I can spend more time growing the firm, programming trademark-related software applications, and running my retail store in Manhattan. Maybe I can even start drawing comics again.

 

This will be a good job. I’m a socialist with a legal background in the labor movement, so I feel obligated to create a job that doesn’t keep the associate working or “on call” outside of their preferred working hours, has excellent remote working options, and doesn’t have a billable hour quota (one of the worst things about working at a conventional law firm). It’ll pay between $60,000 and $70,000 a year depending on experience, plus a substantial bonus, with health insurance and ample paid time off.

 

It makes me sad to hear my friends at other law firms tell me about how they’re regularly expected to be in the office until late at night and on weekends, and always have to be able to respond to emails immediately even when not working. Those are abusive conditions.

 
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Mid-2018 Update on JPG Legal’s Growth

It’s been about ten months since I last updated you on JPG Legal’s financials. To my surprise, occasionally somebody will hire me and tell me they appreciated the transparency about my firm on the blog. So I’ll keep making posts updating people on JPG Legal’s progress as a law firm and a business. Here’s the latest. All numbers in this post are rounded to the nearest $500.

 

2017

 

I ended up finishing 2017 with $227,000 in gross revenue. This is up from a gross revenue of $13,000 in 2016, meaning an annual growth in revenue of 1625% from 2016 to 2017. This is because, as my spreadsheet below hints at, I actually started promoting my solo practice in April 2017. Once I started doing this, the results were positive enough that I immediately made preparations to transition out of my day job as General Counsel of Teamsters Local 922, securing my own Washington, DC office space on July 1, 2017.

 

2017 Gross Revenue Numbers

 
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MoMA v. MoMaCha: a Trademark Attorney’s Perspective

Photograph of MoMaCha’s interior taken by Stephanie Echeveste of Distill Creative.

 

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is suing MoMaCha, a Manhattan-based coffee shop , art gallery, and gift shop, for trademark infringement. MoMA has filed an Opposition against MoMaCha’s federal trademark application and a lawsuit against MoMaCha in Manhattan’s federal court.

 

Does MoMA have a good case against MoMaCha?

I now live in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and I’m opening a new mixed-use gallery, studio, and office space about five blocks from MoMaCha, so this case is relevant to me. I’ve seen all of the hype for MoMaCha in the local press, and I’ve even gone inside the store. I wondered how they had worked out their trademark situation, thinking, “there’s no way somebody would open an art gallery and cafe in Manhattan using MoMA’s name, in a clear reference to the world-famous Manhattan museum, without making some kind of arrangement with MoMA.”

 
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MarkHound and the Move to Manhattan

The Move to New York City

Big update for JPG Legal: At the end of January 2018, my girlfriend and I moved from Washington, DC to New York City, meaning JPG Legal has moved to New York City as well. Don’t worry, we still file trademark applications for clients all over the world.
 
If you’re not familiar with my girlfriend, she’s Stephanie Echeveste, retail placemaking consultant and founder of Distill Creative.
 

Jeremy Peter Green with girlfriend Stephanie.
Jeremy with his girlfriend Stephanie in Manhattan.

 
For a while, both of us were working from our apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, but we recently secured a retail space near our apartment, and we’ve been working on building it up for our grand opening.
 
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