By: H.W. Pfabe | September 20, 2017


One of my clients was just granted her first federal trademark. As I prepared a letter to congratulate her and give her the registration number, I did a quick search to confirm that the information in the USPTO registration was correct (it isn’t always). Coincidence of coincidences, I found that on the same day her trademark was granted, someone else attempted to register their own trademark… for the exact same word.


So, I let my client know that she had been granted her trademark, and needed to continue protecting it. I also let her know that there was another mark pending which MIGHT be concerning.


My client asked one question in response to both statements: Now what?






By: H.W. Pfabe | May 25, 2017

I was going to take a break from the “MARVEL at the Law!” series of blog posts, but Marvel is in the news again, providing a great lesson (and dispelling a common misconception) about Trademarks.


Oh, and no, as usual, this is NOT about politics.


On May 12, Marvel applied for three new Trademarks, all to the phrase “Hail Hydra” (as originally reported by at So, why is this significant?


First, let’s start with a little history (stay awake, I’ll keep it short).





“Hail Hydra” is a phrase which first appeared in Strange Tales #135 (published in August of 1965), which was also the first...

By: H.W. Pfabe | September 13, 2016

I was recently asked for advice in naming a business. Specifically, the person had an idea for a name that he thought made the business sound respectable, but there is another business which had a slightly similar name. The other business doesn't do exactly the same thing that he wants to do with his business, though outsiders might not realize that. He wanted to know what he should do.

This is one of those questions that is asked a lot, though honestly not often enough. Many new business owners come up with a name that they fall in love with. They go ahead and get business cards, brochures, flyers, t-shirts, decals for their trucks, awnings for the front door of their business, have the local paper mention them "coming soon," etc....

Category: Trademarks 

Tags: Starting a Business