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Branding and business strategy from a trademark attorney and founder.

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About

Jeremy with somebody else's dog.

 

Jeremy Peter Green Eche is a branding attorney and the founder of JPG Legal. He is the attorney of record for over 2,000 U.S. trademark registrations. In 2019, JPG Legal was 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.

 

A Eche le gusta dibujar e ilustrar cómics. Es conocido por comprar ClintonKaine.com en el 2011 y poner ahí su "fan fiction" y caricaturas de política en el 2016. Lo cual lo llevó a aparecer en todas las principales estaciones de noticias de cable, y en varias fuentes mas de las principales de noticias noticias importantes,antes de USA Today WIRED, MSNBC, el New York Daily News, HLN, CNN Politics, DCist, Vox.com, CNET, Mic.com, NBC News, Refinery29, the Globe and Mail anunciar su venta del nombre de dominio en la edición matutina de NPR. Morning Edition.

 

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Eche es miembro del National Lawyers Guild y de la Barra de Abogados LGBT de Nueva York. Anteriormente se desempeñó como Consejero General de Teamsters Local 922. Eche también es un corredor licenciado de bienes raíces en Nueva York. Vive en Brooklyn, Nueva York con su esposa, Stephanie Eche, una artista y consultora creativa.

 

Puede contactarlo en info@jpglegal.com.

An Affordable Trademark Attorney

Self-Portrait of an Affordable Trademark Attorney by Jeremy Eche
Self-portrait of an affordable trademark attorney, drawn by the author.

As an affordable trademark attorney, I occupy a strange niche. JPG Legal has just hit $5 million in total revenue since I launched the firm online in mid-2017. In that time, I’ve developed a clear picture of our target client. 

Or rather, both of our target clients, because the members of our target audience approach us from two very different perspectives. Some of our prospective clients see us as a cut-rate “budget” law firm. Others see us as an overpriced extravagance.  

One Client’s Budget Law Firm Is Another Client’s Bespoke Boutique

To conventional trademark attorneys who bill by the hour, who file about 30 trademark applications a year, and who don’t acquire their clients online, I’m a high-volume “trademark mill.” To them, any client who hires me is putting their business at risk for the sake of saving a few bucks. And to businesses with revenue of $10 million or more, I’m the budget law firm that they choose because they’re in a recession or because their current attorney’s fees are too high and unpredictable.

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Valuing a Trademark: How Much Is My 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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El registro de marcas de Amazon ahora acepta solicitudes de marcas comerciales pendientes

Amazon logo cartoon parody that says "trademarkz".
Ilustración por mí.

Para aquellos que no están familiarizados, Amazon Brand Registry es un programa ofrecido a los vendedores de Amazon que les da acceso a muchas herramientas de marca mejoradas para ayudarlos a conectarse mejor con clientes potenciales y diferenciarse de la competencia. Quizás lo más importante es que permite a los vendedores de Amazon eliminar listados que infrinjan sus derechos de marca, incluidos falsificadores, "secuestradores de listas" y vendedores de la misma industria cuyas marcas son simplemente demasiado similares a las del propietario de la marca.

Hasta hace aproximadamente dos meses, solíamos decirles a los clientes que Amazon solo acepta vendedores con marcas comerciales totalmente registradas para su programa de Registro de marcas. Esto significó un tiempo de espera de 8 a 12 meses antes de que los clientes que venden en Amazon EE. UU. Pudieran tener acceso, porque eso es más o menos el tiempo que lleva registrar una marca comercial en los Estados Unidos si todo va bien.

Actualización del 22 de abril de 2021: Amazon ha cambiado la redacción de su sitio web desde que escribí esta publicación de blog, lo que hace que sus requisitos sean más ambiguos. Sin embargo, según nuestra propia experiencia, casi todos nuestros clientes con solicitudes de marcas registradas pendientes están siendo aprobados actualmente para el Registro de marcas de Amazon. Por ejemplo, presentamos una solicitud de marca registrada para una marca de planta de interior hace nueve días y hoy obtuvieron acceso desde Amazon. Curiosamente, Amazon le negó el acceso a un cliente que vende libros para niños la semana pasada con su solicitud pendiente, y se les dijo que lo intentaran nuevamente cuando su marca comercial estuviera completamente registrada. Entonces, aparentemente, hay excepciones.

Actualización del 6 de octubre de 2021: Lo anterior sigue siendo cierto. Nuestros clientes aún obtienen acceso al Registro de marcas de Amazon para las solicitudes de marcas comerciales pendientes que se acaban de presentar. No hemos tenido ningún cliente rechazado para el Registro de marcas desde la última actualización.

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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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El Negocio de Recesión es Bueno, pero el Negocio Pegajoso Es Mejor

Fridge with JPG Legal magnet sticking to it because it's a sticky recession business, while competitor magnets are falling off.
Ilustración por mí.

Los últimos meses han confirmado algo que he pensado durante años, pero no había podido estar totalmente seguro hasta ahora: JPG Legal es un negocio de recesión. Somos la marca económica que la gente compra en el supermercado cuando su marca preferida empieza a parecer exorbitante. Cada vez más pequeñas y medianas empresas están cavando para ahorrar y deshaciéndose de sus abogados convencionales por nuestras tarifas más bajas y precios transparentes.

El año pasado mi objetivo era terminar 2019 con más de $1 millón en ingresos, un número que alcanzamos a mediados de diciembre. Este año pasamos un millón de dólares a mediados de julio, en camino a terminar 2020 en alrededor de $1.9 millones. Hace menos de dos años esta firma era sólo mi práctica independiente, y ahora estamos a punto de ser seis de nosotros: yo, tres abogados, un asistente legal, y un asistente legal que comenzará aquí en agosto. Tras una breve caída de los ingresos en marzo cuando el ecosistema empresarial global se estaba adaptando a las condiciones cambiantes, nuestros ingresos mensuales han continuado su tendencia hacia arriba.

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Our March 2020 Weekly Revenue Numbers Show When Businesses Started Freaking out Around the World

Dollar sign Coronavirus molecule illustration. By JPG Legal.
Illustration by me. It’s a metaphor!

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.

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March 2020 Update on JPG Legal

JPG Legal ads pop up every time I look at coronavirus updates in The New York Times. Does this make us ambulance chasers?

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!

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