We are long overdue for a client spotlight and what better way to fix the problem than spotlighting one of our new outside general counsel clients: April Rose Blake.
As a new resident of the metro-Atlanta area and a entrepreneur to the core we were destined to meet. A native of Jackson, Mississippi and a U.S. Army veteran, she came to the city with a passion and a drive that inspires everyone she comes in contact with. As a result of her determination and drive, she is ready to introduce her baby to the world.
We are proud to announce the grand opening of My Swanky Pooch - A Luxury Pet Spawtique in Alpharetta, Georgia. The grand opening will be held at the retail store on April 22, 2017 from 11 am - 3 pm. Lola Jae, My Swanky Pooch's official brand ambassador, can't wait to meet you and your fur babies.
What is My Swanky Pooch? My Swanky Pooch is an upscale dog boutique that sells designer dog clothes, unique pet accessories, and luxurious pet furniture. They even offer embroidery services. At My Swanky Pooch, every pooch is special and deserves to be treated as such. It is a beautiful place where you can shop for (and with) your beloved fur baby. The spawtique even has dressing rooms so you can try the swanky wear on your fur baby in the store. Whether you are looking for organic bath and body products for your pet, pet umbrellas, Atlanta sports gear for your fur baby, fashionable carriers or clothes; My Swanky Pooch has you covered. They even offer custom Gucci and Louis Vuitton apparel for your pet.
During the grand opening event, My Swanky Pooch will offer a "pawesome" art activity for fur babies and pet parents alike, paw polish, and stencil art for pets. There will also be a photo booth to capture the memories along with treats for everyone during this fur family event. As an extra treat, Cousins Maine Lobster Truck will be on site during the grand opening and My Swanky Pooch will buy a lobster roll for the first 50 customers who spend $75 or more during the grand opening event. If you can't make it, you can always shop online at www.myswankypooch.com.
For more information, you can email them or follow them online for all of the latest news:
You finally came up with the perfect name and/or logo for your brand but can you use it? Did you check to see if someone already trademarked your brilliant idea?
Even if your exact idea is available, have you checked to see if it is similar to someone else's trademark. You can't use your mark if there is a "likelihood of confusion".
What is likelihood of confusion?
Essentially, likelihood of confusion exists when (1) the marks of the parties are similar and (2) the goods and services associated with the marks are related in such a way that people are likely to believe they are from the same source.
To determine if your new name or logo is confusing, you have to look to see if the mark looks like, sounds like, has a similar meaning, or creates a similar overall commercial impression to the registered mark.
For example, if your name is "The Mane Tamer" for natural hair products and someone else has registered "The Main Tamer" for chemical perms then you should probably pick another name.
Why? Because these names look alike, sound alike when spoken, and arguably have similar meanings. Which means the first element in the likelihood of confusion test has been met. The second element deals with the goods and services being sold. Since the names are for related products, remember the goods or services don't have to be identical to be confusing, then the name you chose "The Mane Tamer" is probably going to fail the second element likelihood of confusion test too. As such, your application for a trademark will be rejected by the United States Trademark and Patent Office ("USPTO"). Even if the USPTO did not find a conflict during their initial review, the owner of "The Main Tamer" would oppose and contest your mark and cause your application for the trademark "The Mane Tamer" to be rejected.
If your name "The Mane Tamer" was in reference to horse grooming, then the likelihood of confusion would be significantly reduced and you would stand a better chance of being able to register your mark.
You're a problem solver and you want to keep your name, so perhaps you are thinking you can just use the name without registering it. Wrong! Even if you don't file for a trademark, if you use the name on your natural hair products, the owner of "The Main Tamer" trademark could sue you for trademark infringement.
In order to avoid all of these unpleasantries, when you are selecting a trademark for your business, be careful not to select one that causes a likelihood of confusion with another trademark. How do you do that? By performing a search for similar marks that are used on related goods and services before adopting your trademark. This is called a "clearance search" and involves searching federal and state trademark registration databases. It also involves a search for unregistered common law trademarks by searching the Internet for similar marks being used for goods and services related to yours. If you don't know how to perform a clearance search a trademark lawyer can assist you. It is much easier and cheaper to do the search before you waste resources building a brand only to later find out you can't use it and have to spend even more resources rebranding.
Have you ever seen these symbols and wondered what they are? "TM" and "SM" are usually used with an unregistered trademark or service mark, to inform the public that a term, slogan, logo or other indicator is being claimed as a trademark. "TM" and "SM" are also used when an owner has applied for trademark registration.
While the use of the TM or SM symbol is not equal to federal registration. Using your trademark, in commerce, with specific goods and services, establishes legal rights in the mark, known as "common law" rights. You are entitled to these common law rights regardless of whether you use the TM or SM symbols in connection with your mark. However, these common law rights are limited. For example, in some situations, common law trademark rights for unregistered trademarks will only cover a limited geographic area.
So what is a trademark? A trademark is a brand name. It is a word, phrase, design, or a combination thereof that identifies and distinguishes the source of goods of one party from those of others. In other words, a trademark lets your consumers know that your goods come only from you and not from anyone else.
What is a service mark? A service mark is the same as a trademark, except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product. When you see the terms "trademark" or "mark" used in reference to intellectual property, you should know that the terms "trademark" and "mark" refer to both trademarks and service marks.
For more information on trademarks, check back with the blog for Part 2 of the Intellectual Property: Trademarks and Service Marks post, visit the Trademark section of the United States Patent and Trademark Office or contact your favorite attorney.
As a small child, before the concept of a career was solidified, Makya knew she was destined to use her mind to create things and be her own boss. Taking the liberty to start her own laundry pressing service, complete with her own crayon drawn logos and repurposed dry cleaner packaging, Makya launched her first business. With an entrepreneurial spirit that could not be quenched, Makya has followed her passion and is now the proud owner of three companies.
As a student at Florida A&M University, Makya decided to change her major from Architecture to Graphic Design. She also took her first official step into the world of self-employment - creating Mareta Creations in her dorm room. As the company grew, Mareta Creations began to take on more projects, gaining valuable experience and pedigree, but financially the company was struggling. Driven by the love she had for her business and her clients, Makya dedicated the wealth of her time to the projects and far less attention to the business of her business. The cost of doing business began to heavily outweigh the the revenues of the business. As a result, Mareta Creations was forced into a hiatus.
Despite the setbacks experienced during her first attempt at entrepreneurism, Makya decided to embrace them and learn from them. With a spirit of perseverance, Mareta Creations was relaunched in 2010. This time Makya decided to hire Attorney Maya Simmons Rogers of Simmons Rogers, LLC, to help her structure her business.
Makya continues to extend the reach of her businesses, utilizing her strong personal network and social media to connect with past, present, and future clients.
Mareta Creations’ graphic design services have flourished and grown since the 2010 relaunch. The business now provides corporate design services, fine invitations and photography services for events, families, and pets. In 2013 and 2014, Mareta Creations was selected as one of The Knot's Best of Weddings Vendors.
In 2013, after completing her Master's in Graphic Design at George Mason University, Makya launched Graphic Snob, an apparel company for the graphic snob in all of us. Most recently, in 2014, Makya launched Cosmetic Snob, where she sells cosmetic products through her online Amazon Store.
Makya credits much of her polished self-presentation and business acumen to her experiences at Florida A&M University where she was able to observe the matriculation of students through the School of Business and Industry and “learn through osmosis”. As she carries Mareta Creations, LLC, the parent company, into the future, Makya keeps an eye for opportunities and professional growth. In the upcoming year, Mareta Creations, LLC will forge ahead with an added focus on corporate and government contracts and looks forward to opening its first physical storefront to showcase its products and projects. Visit www.MaretaCreations.com, www.GraphicSnob.com, and www.amazon.com/shops/cosmeticsnob to learn more about Mareta Creations, LLC's award winning products and services.
Simmons Rogers, LLC
Simmons Rogers, LLC is a full- service civil law firm based in Atlanta, Georgia. We provide legal services as well as mediation and arbitration services, to businesses and individuals throughout the state of Georgia and beyond.
This blog is not intended to be a complete explanation of the law. Its purpose is to inform, not to advise on any specific legal problem or legal rights. If you have specific questions regarding any topic in this blog, you are encouraged to consult the Atlanta based law firm of Simmons Rogers, LLC or an attorney licensed in your