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Benton R Patterson III

Benton R Patterson III

Trademark and Copyright Attorney
  • Intellectual Property, Trademarks
  • Texas
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Practice Areas
  • Intellectual Property
  • Trademarks
Additional Practice Area
  • Copyright
  • Free Consultation
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
Federal Circuit
Texas A&M University School of Law
University of North Texas
Professional Associations
State Bar of Texas # 24095088
Federal Circuit Bar Association
- Current
The Honorable Barbara M.G. Lynn Inn of Court
Speaking Engagements
Panelist, Legal Careers Presentation, Denton, TX
University of North Texas PreLaw Program
Websites & Blogs
Firm website
Legal Answers
140 Questions Answered

Q. What do I need to do when my trademark is in abandoned status?
A: An attorney would need to know the circumstances under which it became abandoned and how long ago it became abandoned to determine if it can be revived. Most likely, you will need to start over with a new application and a new filing fee.
Q. Regarding fair use the the term "educational purposes". Are the profesional teachers only allowed to use this term?
A: Most likely it is not fair use to take someone else's image and use it in a blog, even if the purpose is to educate people. An attorney would need to evaluate the entire website to give a confident answer though.
Q. Posters with Brand name logos on it. Can I use them in a retail store that I'm opening?
A: Most likely, you can sell the products. Generally, you are free to resell what you rightfully purchased. There is a possibility that one of the brands may have brand use guidelines that restrict how you can market their products. An attorney would need to know more to give a certain answer to this question.
Q. What are the benefits of hiring an attorney to help me register a trademark? Is it simple to do on your own?
A: It is easy to prepare the actual trademark application documents. Preparing the documents accounts for 10% of the work involved in securing a good trademark. A trademark attorney can search for potentially conflicting trademarks to determine if your potential trademark is likely to be registered, valid, and enforceable. Often people attempt to register trademarks that are either not enforceable against competitors because of prior use or they attempt to register trademarks are not being properly used, and therefore subject to being cancelled. Another important service a trademark attorney can perform is prepare the description of goods and services to maximize your legal rights. An attorney can also respond to the government's legal arguments. After you file a trademark application, a government trademark examining attorney will scrutinize the application and may make legal arguments why the the trademark should not be registered. A trademark attorney can prepare an application that is less likely to face objections and can respond to the government attorney's legal arguments. People who file their own trademark applications or hire a document preparation service may have their trademarks rejected and have to start the process over again a year later, including paying a second application fee.
Q. I have received a copyright infringement notification on my eBay account about a product I am selling.
A: An attorney would need to review the two products to answer this question. From what you have described, it seems unlikely that your bracelet would infringe a copyright for the other bracelet. While jewelry is protected by copyright, the rights are not so broad as to cover entire design concepts. To infringe, your product would need to be nearly an exact replica. Based on your description, this is far from true. I recommend having an attorney prepare a response.
Q. Im confused on whether my trademark is approved or if its still pending?
A: If it is approved, you should have received an official registration certificate from the government and have a registration number. If you do not have these, the application is either pending, denied, or abandoned. A trademark attorney can look this up fairly quickly if you provide the application number.
Q. A cork maker owns their trademark in wine, but not for household goods, which I want for a corkscrew. Can I trademark?
A: There is really not a clear answer here. It is possible the other trademark owner may oppose your trademark registration or sue you for trademark infringement. The fact that the two marks are in different classes does not necessarily mean consumers are unlikely to be confused by the two marks. The fact that the customers of each business are different is relevant, but not conclusive. I recommend speaking with a trademark attorney to evaluate all the facts to determine your chances of success.
Q. Doubt I can trademark my descriptive online business name so is it easier to trademark including .com with the name?
A: Adding ".com" to an otherwise generic description would not make the trademark viable. The ".com" is generally disregarded by trademark examiners. Neither an LLC nor a domain registration provides trademark rights. Someone else could register the same name as an LLC in a different state or do business under the same name. It may be best to develop another aspect of your branding as a trademark, such as a design, logo, phrase, or product/service name rather than the name of the business itself.
Q. Does an LLC "own" works created by its members by default? Or does it only own what is explicitly put in its ownership?
A: An attorney would need to review all the facts to answer this question, most importantly, the LLC operating agreement. It is possible there could be joint ownership of the property by the members, if not through the LLC, then through a general partnership created by law as a result of the collaborative nature of the project. The fact that certain property is not in the name of the LLC does not necessarily mean that the property is not jointly owned. For projects like this, typically the members would create an agreement specifying what is owned individually up front.
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Patterson Legal
2310 N Henderson Ave.
STE 724
Dallas, TX 75206
Telephone: (972) 379-9049