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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.

 

Instagram de Jeremy

Twitter de Jeremy

 

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.

Here Are the Goods/Services to File for When Trademarking a Band or Musician Name

Ilustración por mí.

Musician and recording artist names are arguably one of the most complicated topics in trademark law. Just ask the Bernie Sanders campaign.

One of the first trademark applications I ever filed was for a teenager who produced hip hop beats and rapped over them, before I knew what goods/services a musician’s trademark should be registered for. In case you’re new to this field, trademarks must be registered for specific goods and services identifications (“IDs”) that are categorized into 45 classes. I filed for “music composition services” in Class 41, the education and entertainment class.

I then spent the next eight months trying to fix that massive error, ultimately filing a new application after being refused by the USPTO several times. Music composition services means writing songs to be performed by other artists. This is a very difficult service to submit a specimen for. I thought I was finally saved when I found a listing on a beats-making website by my client where he was offering a beat for sale. Even this got rejected because my client wasn’t composing custom music for other artists, he was composing music and then selling it to other artists. 

I finally ended up having to file a new application at my own expense for the correct goods/services IDs, ones that are easier to submit specimens for. Similar issues can arise if you file for music production, music recording, music publishing, music video production, etc. These are all meant to be services performed for recording artists, not by the recording artist, so they should only be filed for if the artist offers these services in that way, and only in combination with goods/services IDs that are easier to provide specimens for (more on those soon).

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Can Flavor Flav Sue The Sanders Campaign For Promoting a “Public Enemy” Performance?

Stylized drawing of Bernie Sanders by Jeremy Peter Green.
Drawing of Bernie Sanders by me.

If you’ve followed my Twitter account or heard my interview on NPR’s Morning Edition, you know I’m a huge supporter of Senator Bernie Sanders. Sanders is what happens when a genuine, on-the-ground activist and organizer somehow manages to get real institutional power, without compromising their values. This has probably never happened in modern U.S. politics, and it’s terrifying not only to the very wealthy, but also to the status-quo-dependent subclass of political consultants, lobbyists, lawyers, pundits, pollsters, and politicians whose livelihoods he threatens.

We live in a time when we’re seeing many radical icons who were active between the 50s and the 80s, including Dolores Huerta, John Lewis, and most recently Jello Biafra of Dead Kennedys, soften and become moderate, corporate-leaning Democrats whose politics are to right of the average 30 year-old Democratic voter.

This is why for me and many other leftists, it came as a great relief when we saw the below promotional poster for a Bernie Sanders/Public Enemy concert happening today in California. Public Enemy, perhaps the single most important anti-establishment entity in hip hop, has not sold out their less fortunate contemporaries, nor all of us who entered the workforce around or after the crash of 2008 and generally do not see the Obama administration as a utopian ideal that we need to return to.

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New York’s New Broker Fee Rule: Can You Get Your Broker Fee Back?

Photo of me, on the right, viewing the current JPG Legal office before I signed the lease.

As described in The New York Times, the New York Department of State has just issued a formal guidance declaring that making a tenant pay for a broker’s fee when renting an apartment is illegal. This means that if a landlord hires a broker to help them find a tenant for an apartment, the landlord must pay the broker the fee directly rather than passing on the cost to the tenant. This new rule is a clarification of one of the provisions in the historic tenant protection law passed in June (going into effect upon signing on June 14, 2019) thanks to efforts from the Upstate Downstate Housing Alliance, a coalition of over 70 organizations including New York City Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). This particular provision says that landlords cannot charge prospective tenants fees for applying for an apartment or signing a lease, beyond a $20 application fee. Read the rest of this post »   


Why We Raised Some of Our Fees

Things are going well here at JPG Legal, objectively. We will close out the year at about $1,000,000 in gross revenue, up from $709,000 in 2018 and $227,000 in 2017. Originally just my solo practice until September 2018, JPG Legal is now a team of four that includes me, two associate attorneys, and one paralegal. The firm that started in my basement apartment in Washington, DC now has its own beautiful 1400 square foot loft space in DUMBO, Brooklyn with a view of the Manhattan Bridge.

Office cat Quíque lounging at the office.
Quíque the cat lounging at JPG Legal.

Unfortunately, something is wrong with our business model. The numbers haven’t been adding up. Though the firm has been growing, we haven’t been making a profit. As high as our gross revenue is, the majority of it goes toward government filing fees and advertising costs. On top of that, we’re struggling to keep up with our workload. I don’t believe in making salaried employees, even lawyers, work more than 40 hours a week (ideally 30 a week), yet the number of clients we have is not currently manageable under that standard.

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La nueva regla de la USPTO: ¿Qué deben hacer los solicitantes de marcas extranjeras con sus marcas existentes?

¿Cuál es la nueva regla de la USPTO?

A principios de este verano, la USPTO anunció una nueva regla que exige que todos los solicitantes y registrados de marcas domiciliados en el extranjero deben estar representados por un abogado con licencia estadounidense. Esta regla se aplica a cualquier solicitante "cuya residencia legal permanente o lugar de negocios principal se encuentra fuera de los Estados Unidos".

Además, todos los abogados que soliciten marcas en nombre de los clientes ahora deben ingresar al estado en el que tienen licencia, su fecha de admisión a la barra y su número de barra estatal (si corresponde en ese estado). También deben afirmar su posición como abogado con licencia de un colegio estatal de los Estados Unidos.

Captura de pantalla del formulario de presentación de marcas comerciales de USPTO TEAS Plus.

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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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