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John Martin Hilla

John Martin Hilla

Detroit-Area Trademark Registration and Bankruptcy Attorney
  • Bankruptcy, Trademarks, Real Estate Law
  • Law Society of Ontario, Michigan
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John Hilla is a Detroit-area trademark and bankruptcy with the firm of Swistak Levine, PC. A graduate of the Wayne State University Law School in Detroit, he also holds a Master's degree in International Law from the George Washington University Law School in Washington, DC.

Practice Areas
  • Bankruptcy
  • Trademarks
  • Real Estate Law
  • Free Consultation
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
Law Society of Ontario
ID Number: 78008N
  • English: Spoken, Written
  • Turkish: Spoken
Professional Experience
Swistak Levine, PC
- Current
Bankruptcy, Trademark, and Real Estate Practice
Managing Attorney
The Hilla Law Firm, PLLC
Consumer bankruptcy and trademark registration practice.
Aronoff & Linnell, PLLC
The Law Offices of John M. Hilla, PLLC
The George Washington University Law School
LL.M | International & Comparative Law
Wayne State University Law School
J.D | Law
Wayne State University
B.A | English
Professional Associations
Michigan State Bar # 69128
Consumer Bankruptcy Association
- Current
National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
- Current
Articles & Publications
Am I Responsible for my Fiancee's Debt After Marriage?
The Detroit Legal News
The Literary Effect of Sovereignty in International Law
The Widener Law Review
The US Invasion of Iraq and Popular Consent in the Formation of Customary International Law
The Michigan International Lawyer
Draft Commentary for Art. 479 of the Provisional Kosovo Criminal Procedure Code
US State Department in conjunction with George Washington University
Websites & Blogs
Detroit Bankruptcy Attorney
Detroit Bankruptcy and Trademark Blog
Legal Answers
48 Questions Answered

Q. How much does a trademark cost? Is there an annual fee?
A: Ookla the Mok say, "Doesn't mean character not in use commercially or protected by US copyright law." It is always best to create an original brand name, tag-line, or logo.
Q. TM search & no results, google search showed 2 others with Instagram accts w/ same name
A: Respectfully, you seem to be seeking the assurance of an attorney that your proposed trademark is "safe" for purposes of a trademark registration application without actually hiring or paying for an attorney--and without disclosing what that proposed mark actually is. You are not going to obtain the legal opinion of a trademark practitioner by asking a question like that on a site like this. Before filing any trademark application, it is advisable that you retain a knowledgeable trademark attorney to conduct for you a proper and full clearance search for opposing, prior, or competing potential uses of your term, searching not only the Federal register and domain name and other internet or commercial uses but also state trademark registers and other sources. An attorney conducting this search for you will review the much more vast results that a proper search provides, analyze the risk of failure in filing an application for the trademark registration of your proposed term, and provide you an opinion letter weighing that risk so that you can make a risk-based decision to file or not to file your application. It is encouraging that the results you have located yourself evidence more recent use than your own as, in the U.S., trademark registration is granted on a "first in use (in interstate commerce" rather than "first to file" (an application). However, a proper search surely needs to be conducted. I would recommend you retain a knowledgeable trademark registration attorney to assist you. Slowing down a bit and doing this properly will save you months and months of time if your application finds opposition that could have been avoided from the outset, not to mention filing fees. Most trademark attorneys practice nationally, as I do, and offer free consultations, often by phone or video, for clients located outside of their specific geographic areas. Good luck.
Q. Can I withdraw from a partnership LLC but keep trademarks? Moving from CA to AZ.
A: If the application(s) for the trademarks' registration filed with the USPTO lists the LLC as owner, the LLC remains the owner regardless of your LLC's status, dissolved or otherwise. The LLC will need to transfer ownership to you or your new entity. You should consult a California business attorney regarding your ability to transfer corporate assets without the other member's participation. A trademark attorney can assist with the work required on the USPTO end.
Q. Can I use a word that is part of a trademarked phrase for my artist name when I release music?
A: Your best bet is to come up with a name or brand this is totally unique and original. However, you should discuss your proposed trademark with a knowledgeable trademark attorney. Most trademark attorneys practice nationally, so you should feel free to discuss your artist name with an attorney regardless of location. Most offer free consultations, and, some, like myself, offer them telephonically.
Q. How do i find out what classes to register my trademark under for a cosmetic company?
A: Your best avenue to a successful Federal trademark registration is to, first, schedule a knowledgeable trademark registration attorney, and, second, to retain that attorney or another such attorney to draft your application for you, utilizing information you provide not only regarding your current products and services but also what you intend to do with your business in the future. Trademark practice is a national practice, and you need to not restrict yourself to local representation for this type of service. Most of us offer free online or telephonic initial consultations to determine whether your brand, logo, or mark is likely to successfully pass through the USPTO registration process.
Q. Bankruptcy - I'm married, can I file on just my stuff? Can I keep 2 loans and wipe out everything else?
A: The short answer is that you need to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to determine if bankruptcy is a good option for you, or a dangerous one. In particular, real estate can be a primary concern in terms of asset protection. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, assets, whether your home or a vehicle or a bank account or a comic book collection, can be seized from you and sold off in order to repay some of what you owe to your creditors. Asking a question such as this on a website such as this will not provide you the tailored, specific legal advice you need to determine whether A) you "can" file for bankruptcy and B) whether you SHOULD. That said, all debts must be "included" in the bankruptcy whether you want them to or not. Some types of debt, such as a child support obligation, will not be discharged by the bankruptcy process--but even they must be listed and "included." Any type of debt you owe which is not included in the list of types of debt that are not dischargeable in the US Bankruptcy Code will simply be discharged. There is no particular reason a personal loan wouldn't be dischargeable, unless you incurred the debt by way of fraud. Seek a consultation with a Michigan bankruptcy. Most of us offer free initial consultations.
Q. Can I file bankruptcy and add an agreement that I had with my previous employer on a loan
A: First, you should consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney in your local area in a private consultation your interest in filing for bankruptcy to determine eligibility, asset protection issues, and whether or not it is the best option for you. That said, any sort of loan or promissory note or promise to repay or contract of that nature, verbal or written, is generally dischargeable in Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy provided fraud was not involved.
Q. I have a trademark under an LLC that was closed 6 years ago, trademark is still valid.
A: The question in your case is whether the trademark was registered by the LLC or by you (or someone else), personally--and whether the mark is still in use in interstate commerce. Depending on the situation, the trademark may be assignable to you You should consult a trademark attorney privately to determine whether you have a specific course of action available to you.
Q. "Red White & Due" is trademarked for T-shirts. Can I use the phrase "Red White & Almost Due"?
A: You are asking for specific legal advice with this question, and it is not likely that anyone will respond with any particularity without a retainer agreement and retainer fee. In responding to this question as phrased, an attorney would be creating an attorney-client relationship and subjecting themselves to possible malpractice liability--for no benefit to that attorney. If you are interested in registering a particular trademark and would like to ensure that your proposed mark will not encounter a USPTO office action or opposition to registration and that it does not infringe on another mark, you should consult a trademark attorney to schedule an initial consultation and engage in a private discussion. Many attorneys offer free consultations, some, like myself, by phone or virtually, but more information will be required than what you've provided here. In your case, however, it is important to note that a name or logo identifying the source of goods in interstate commerce is what is protected in trademark registration. A catch-phrase printed on a t-shirt does not do that. The name on the tag of the shirt is what would be registered as a trademark. For example, I might have t-shirt with the word "Splurgle!" printed on the front, but, if that says "Fruit of the Loom," Fruit of the Loom is the registrable mark. That said, the first step in the trademark registration process is a comprehensive clearance search, before any registration application is filed, to ensure that your mark and your brand are unlikely to encounter the sorts of issues mentioned above--or to let you know before committing yourself to an application that it may encounter such obstacles. Many trademark attorneys, including myself, service clients nationwide and not simply locally as trademark as a Federal practice.
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Swistak Levine, PC
30833 Northwestern Highway
Suite 120
Farmington Hills, MI 48334
Telephone: (248) 851-8000
Fax: (248) 851-4620