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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.

 

Jeremy's Instagram

Jeremy's Twitter

 

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.

JPG Legal Update: New Attorney, New Space in Dumbo

Photograph of the Manhattan Bridge and skyline from the JPG Legal roof on 68 Jay Street in DUMBO, Brooklyn.
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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The Evolution of JPG Legal as a Website and as a Law Firm

Screenshot of an abandoned JPG Legal trademark page concept.
Me editing an abandoned JPG Legal trademark page concept in late 2016.

 

A Good Small Firm Attorney Is a Good Web Designer

If you’ve been poking around here, you’ve probably gathered that I designed and developed JPG Legal’s website myself, using HTML, CSS, javascript, Adobe Photoshop, and some powerful platforms and plugins. Though I did not incorporate it until a year later, I was 28 when I started JPG Legal as a solo practice in the late summer of 2016, right after I sold ClintonKaine.com for $15,000.
 


Segment about my “Hillary Potter” fan fiction and comics on HLN’s Morning Express.

 
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The Future of the Trademark Business Model

The Trademark Industry Is a Racket

Sometimes people ask me how my business model is profitable, or what my edge is. I find it hard to answer them without making it sound like I’m cutting corners, but the truth is that JPG Legal’s edge is simply that we’re cheaper than all of the good services and better than all of the cheap services. We’re an actual law firm that performs actual legal work while still charging as little as or less than the online “legal services” factories like LegalZoom.
 
The two primary trademarking models — both the traditional law firm model and the online “legal services provider” model — are rackets.
 
Conventional lawyers are bad at client acquisition, so they tend to exploit the clients they do manage to get, billing as many hours to their clients as they can. In reality, it simply doesn’t take much time to perform due diligence on trademarks, or to file trademark applications.
 
However, on the other end, there are also all of these cheap, no-frills online service providers who don’t seem to be bound by any ethical obligations and who mislead people about their likelihood of success or the hidden back-end costs of their trademark applications. I’m trying to bridge that gap with my firm.
 
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Trademark Websites Are Lying About the Amazon Brand Registry

How long does it take to get on Amazon’s Brand Registry?

Disclaimer: This post arguably constitutes legal advice and in a way I am your lawyer now. At the end of this post, I will no longer be your lawyer, unless I already was before.

December 2020 Update: Amazon seems to have changed its policy on trademarks. Many clients of mine have been getting Brand Registry access only a few weeks after filing US trademark applications with us. Amazon has also slightly changed its wording on its US Brand Registry Requirements page to indicate that pending US trademark applications are acceptable. See my recent post about the new Brand Registry requirements.

It takes at least eight months from the time you file a U.S. trademark application to get on the Amazon Brand Registry. Apparently other online trademark services are telling people things such as, “As far as we know, Amazon will accept proof that you’ve filed your application”, at least according to some clients of mine.

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