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Michael Gerity

Michael Gerity

Estate Planning, Business and Bankruptcy Pros
  • Estate Planning, Business Law, Bankruptcy...
  • Arizona, Colorado, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
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Summary

Michael Gerity is a distinguished attorney in Arizona who brings a wealth of experience to every case. Whether representing a client with a commercial or intellectual property dispute, or providing legal advice for a business entrepreneur, Mr. Gerity is an aggressive and reliable lawyer who knows how to get the results clients need. He is AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell in recognition of his high ethical standards and professional ability and has been selected by the American Institute of Legal Counsel for its 10 Best in Arizona list in client satisfaction for 2016 in the Litigation, Lawsuits & Disputes Division. His law firm has also been selected for inclusion in the Law Firm 500 as one of the top 100 fastest growing firms in the entire country.

Mr. Gerity has been admitted to practice law in Arizona State and Federal courts since graduating from the Arizona State University College of Law in 1994. He also is admitted to practice law in Colorado and before the United States Patent and Trademark office.

Prior to forming Israel & Gerity, PLLC, Mr. Gerity clerked for the Chief Judge of the Arizona Court of Appeals, served as a deputy public defender, where he received extensive trial experience, and worked for several years at a large civil litigation law firm in Phoenix. He then formed his own firm, and also served as Of Counsel to a prestigious boutique commercial litigation firm. In law school, Mr. Gerity was an Associate Note and Comment Editor for the Arizona State Law Journal, received honors in legal research and writing, and was awarded Best Appellate Brief. Mr. Gerity received his Bachelor of Science degree from Colorado State University in 1990.

Mr. Gerity has taught classes and given presentations on a wide variety of topics. Mr. Gerity’s practice areas include business formation and representation, bankruptcy, estate planning and trusts, general civil litigation and commercial litigation, and intellectual property.

Practice Areas
  • Estate Planning
  • Business Law
  • Bankruptcy
  • Intellectual Property
  • Trademarks
  • Probate
Fees
  • Free Consultation
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Contingent Fees
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
Arizona
Colorado
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Federal Circuit
Languages
  • English: Spoken, Written
  • Spanish: Written
Professional Experience
Owner
Estate Planning, Business and Bankruptcy Pros
- Current
Managing Partner
Israel & Gerity, PLLC
- Current
Owner
Law Offices of Michael Gerity, PC
- Current
Of Counsel
Meyer, Hendricks & Bivens, PC
-
Associate
Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, PLC
-
Deputy Public Defender
Maricopa County Public Defender's Office
-
Clerk
Judge Thomas C. Kleinschmidt, Arizona Court of Appeals
-
Legal Clerk
Honeywell
-
Legal Clerk
Arizona Attorney General’s Office
-
Education
Arizona State University
J.D. (1994) | Law
-
Honors: Arizona State Law Journal Associate Note and Comment Editor; Best Appellate Brief, First Year Moot Court Competition; Honors, Legal Research and Writing; East Valley Bar Association Scholarship Recipient
Activities: Assistant Project Director, Homeless Legal Assistance Project; Treasurer, Student Bar Association; Student Fellow, Center for Law, Science and Technology
Colorado State University
B.S. (1990) | Biology, anatomy, psychology
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Honors: Dean’s List; Colorado State University Honor’s Program; Elf-Aquitaine Academic Scholarship
Activities: Raptor Program (reintegrating injured birds of prey)
Awards
AV Preeminent Peer Rating
Martindale-Hubbell
Peer rated for highest level of professional excellence; 5.0 out of 5.0 rating.
10.0 Rating - Superb
Avvo
2016 Honoree - Fastest Growing Law Firms
Law Firm 500
Named as one of the 100 fastest growing law firms in America
10 Best Client Satisfaction - Litigation, Lawsuits & Disputes Division
American Institute of Legal Counsel
Professional Associations
National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Counsel
Member
- Current
Arizona Consumer Bankruptcy Counsel
Member
- Current
American Bar Association
Member
- Current
Colorado State Bar # 29202
Licensed Attorney
- Current
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office # 41776
Licensed Attorney
- Current
Arizona State Bar # 015750
Licensed Attorney
- Current
Speaking Engagements
The America Invents Act: Changes to the US Patent Laws and an Overview of Intellectual Property Law, First Friday Connect CLE Group, Scottsdale, AZ
First Friday Connect CLE Group
Basic Collection Practice, First Friday Connect CLE Group, Phoenix, AZ
First Friday Connect CLE Group
Certifications
Emergency Medical Technician
Arizona Department of health Services
Websites & Blogs
Website
Estate Planning, Bankruptcy and Business Pros
Website
TrademarkIt
Legal Answers
105 Questions Answered

Q. Dissolving my LLC
A: Hello. You are experiencing first hand why these cut-rate online legal services are such a huge problem (and, I should add, how attorneys who do this kind of work often end up getting a fair amount of business trying to clean up all of the problems caused by these services. Anyway, I'd be happy to try and help you, but I would need to know what exactly LegalZoom has and has not done so far. Have they filed the Articles of Organization with the Arizona Corporation Commission yet? Feel free to contact us to discuss further. ***Please note the important disclaimers set forth at the bottom of this page.***
Q. We are representing ourselves in a litigation case against a home servicing company.
A: Hello. I hate to say it, but this goes WAY beyond the kind of legal advice you should be seeking on an online question and answer forum. It's not really even clear whether you are the plaintiff or defendant, and it's nearly impossible to address issues relating to dismissal without a full understanding of the underlying facts of the case. ***Please note the important disclaimers set forth at the bottom of this page.***
Q. My trademark is labeled “dead” how to I make it active again?
A: A trademark can be marked as "dead" for a variety of reasons. If it is dead because the application or registration was abandoned, then there is no way to revive an abandoned federal trademark application, at least once the various grace periods have expired. The only option is to file a completely new application. However, if it is marked as dead because an objection to registration was filed (either via an office action from the examiner or an opposition from a third party), and the objection couldn't be overcome, then even a new application won't fix the problem. A valid legal method for overcoming the objection would need to be found. ***Please note the important disclaimers set forth at the bottom of this page.***
Q. Hi. I did a trademark on "Phonyisms" and I think it has expired. What is the cost to get it active again> Thanks.
A: Hello. There is no way to revive an abandoned federal trademark application, at least once the various grace periods have expired. The only option is to file a completely new application. ***Please not the important disclaimers set forth at the bottom of this page.***
Q. How long does the trademark application and registration process usually take? Is it possible to expedite it?
A: Hello. The average length of time for a federal trademark application from filing date to final disposition (be that registration or denial) was 9.8 months as of last June, according to the US Patent and Trademark Office. There are a number of things that can influence this number dramatically, however. First off, the "basis" for filing that you choose will change the timeline--if you are actively using the proposed mark before you file, the process will move faster. Next up, the examiner may issue rejections/office actions. While these are not directly within your control, they can be very dramatically limited by proper advanced screening of your mark, proper searching, and proper completion of the application. Further, if an office action is issued, you generally have six months to respond, but you can always (and should) respond much sooner to expedite the process. Finally, third parties can file oppositions that would further slow down the process. This, again, is something that cannot be controlled, but can be dramatically limited by proper pre-filing searches. Outside of thorough vetting of your mark, proper searches, proper completion of the application, and rapid responses to any office actions, there is no other way to expedite the process. ***Please note the important disclaimers set forth at the bottom of this page.***
Q. Can I use 'Bea Honeywell' as a stage name when there's a company called 'Honeywell'?
A: A trademark provides protection for a name, logo, slogan, etc., as it is used in conjunction with the sale of particular products and/or services. It is quite possible to have multiple trademarks that are the same or similar coexisting in the market, as long as there is no reasonable likelihood of confusion between the two uses. One could argue that Honeywell's products are not likely to be confused with burlesque performances, so that a customer or potential customer is confused as to the source. This would be particularly true if your actual last name was Honeywell, as it is difficult to argue that a person should be precluded from using their own name, but I gather that this would be a made up name for performances. Of course, it would be important that you not claim or suggest any relationship or sponsorship of your performances by Honeywell. Also, just because someone might not have a strong case doesn't mean they might not threaten to take action just because they don't like what you are doing with the name. Finally, your last sentence almost seems to suggest that there is somebody else using that stage name, which would open up a completely different set of issues. ***Please note the important disclaimers set forth at the bottom of this page.***
Q. Can I be sued for making shirts of a cactus person? Someone claims to have a trademark for a similar character
A: Understand that, in order to have viable trademark rights, either at the state or federal level, the user of a particular mark does not actually have to register their mark. This, then, makes it somewhat difficult for you to know the scope of any rights they may or may not have. If they actually have registered a mark (found either through the Arizona Secretary of State or the US Patent and Trademark Office), then at least you can see the specific appearance of what they registered and the scope of the products and/or services with which they assert their rights. When it comes to "similar characters," a person cannot trademark or copyright an underlying idea. Trademarks protect an image or logo (or words, slogans, etc) as used in conjunction with the sale of a particular type of products and/or services. If you would be using a mark in conjunction with the sale of the same or similar types of products and/or services, then the analysis is as to whether your mark is confusingly similar to theirs. That analysis can be a difficult one to make, as there are many factors to consider, and there is no black and white answer. ***Please note the important disclaimers set forth at the bottom of this page.***
Q. Hi there, what is the process to change the owner of a current Trademark?
A: In order to change the owner of an existing trademark, the usual process is to prepare an assignment agreement. The assignment agreement then has to be recorded with the US Patent and Trademark Office. However, be VERY careful when attempting to assign an active trademark. If you do not transfer the trademark with the foundations of the underlying business, you run a very high risk of invalidating the trademark completely due to what is called an "assignment in gross." I'd strongly recommend that you consult with an attorney about that particular issue. ***Please note the important disclaimers set forth at the bottom of this page.***
Q. Copyright question: can I copyright a clever word combination to apply on mugs, caps, sweatshirts, etc.?
A: What you are describing is best protected with trademark, not copyright. You are describing selling products with a particular name/phrase/slogan attached to them, which is precisely what trademarks protect. The fact that you buy the products from a vendor doesn't change it because, as you say, the selling point is the name/phrase/slogan. Of course, you would want to make sure that the underlying products to which you apply the trademark are not junk, or else your brand would suffer. ***Please note the important disclaimers set forth at the bottom of this page.***
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