Hi! I'm Shannon

I help connect and fill in the gaps of what is missing in your business, transforming your business into an aligned, joyful, (and protected) entity!

I'm a visionary Lawyer Who Loves Empowering Entrepreneurs

with legal knowledge

so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind.

Heartsong Chakra Framework

I'm just like you....

I've built and closed multiple businesses, and I've experienced the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. I know what it feels like to be alone, doing difficult things and not knowing exactly what I'm doing.

I know what it's like to feel frustrated with all of the bits and pieces of running a business and knowing you need to have certain things done, but just not knowing how or what to do about them.

You know that everything is connected, so why have you not connected your spiritual self with your business?

We are here to guide you to integrate the two so you can have an aligned business and life.

Quick Facts About Me

  • BFA University of Florida

  • JD, LLM (Master of Law in Intellectual Property) University of Dayton School of Law

  • 13 years of experience as a lawyer

  • 17 years of experience as an entrepreneur

  • 22 years studying holistic practices; Certified in Crystal Healing and Reiki

  • I've lived in 5 countries and speak 3 languages

  • member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, Alpha Phi Omega, and Phi Alpha Delta

Intuitive Insightful Legal

I'm not your ordinary lawyer... I blend all of my holistic knowledge with my legal knowledge to help my clients be better entrepreneurs, and to help them take their businesses to new heights. One of my signature sayings is "listen to your Heartsong!" which means, follow what your heart says for you to do, your passion, what makes your heart sing. My Heartsong is educating and empowering my clients with understanding how the legal aspects of their business can help them feel more fulfilled in their business and give them the tools they need to move their vision forward.

I'm a serial entrepreneur, mom, holistic practitioner and cancer survivor. In my previous career I was a multi-media designer and video editor in the music industry. I made cool art videos and took some awesome photos with famous people and musicians.


I live between the worlds of the logical left and the creative right and can help others merge the two to see the interconnectedness. I can help you truly embody your business and to feel both aligned and protected at the same time.

Intellectual Property Protection

Protecting Your Business Puts your business into Alignment

I'm a big fan of meditation and balancing my chakras. While sitting on a beach watching the waves, I started thinking about how a business is considered an entity. My thinking then went to, if a business is an entity, doesn't it have a chakra system? That's how the Heartsong Chakra Framework™ was born. I use this tool to explain how various legal aspects can help you build and protect your business. I want you to understand how trademarks are essential for your brand ("all about me" in the solar plexus chakra) and having ways to protect them such as registering them ("foundations" in the root chakra) and licensing them ("relationships" in the heart chakra) are interconnected.

We are here to make things simple and enjoyable by

guiding you through the HeartSong Chakra Framework™ to develop a unique-to-you business and legal strategy.

Shannon Villalba
  • The ability and Freedom to choose our own path and be authentically ourselves, full of self-confidence, self-love and self-respect.

Our Core Values

  • Deep energetic Connection with the world and people allows us to move forward quicker and is the key to true Collaboration and anchored relationships.

  • Adventure, Fun and Zest for Life comes from discovering new things and brings in a sense of wonder, allowing our imaginations to soar leading to Innovation.

  • Deep Relationships with family, friends, and colleagues are important for success. In the end, your legacy lives on with them.

  • Appreciation and Gratitude for the experiences of life. Being alive is a wonderful journey!

  • Enhancing who we are personally and professionally by going deeply within, reflecting on thoughts, and feeling into our emotions, thus transmuting into positive Strategies and increasing our Knowledge and Intelligence.

  • Bringing Beauty and Color into the world with flair and joy Intuitively gives us the ability to create beautiful things and make an impact in the world.

More Tidbits

I went to law school to help people like me and was determined to open my own firm. In 2015 I was diagnosed with small cell cervical cancer and only given a few months to live. I used a combination of holistic and western medicine to help heal me. I have been in remission since May 2016.

Boating is a huge part of my life! I grew up in Florida and am a quintessential beach girl!

Our team members are all artists and musicians!

Combined we can all play at least 7 instruments, and have about 20+ years of experience in the entertainment industry.

Our

Team

Steve Murphy Patent Lawyer

Steve Murphy

of counsel

Steve is a seasoned patent and business attorney, serial entrepreneur, and chemical engineer with over 30 years of experience. He is licensed in Ohio and Kentucky.

Steve is also an expert in equine matters and can be found singing on stage in various rock bands.

anna nicole mercer paralegal office manager

Anna Nicole Mercer

Paralegal/Office Manager

Anna Nicole brings over 20 years of experience to the firm. She is an expert with client services and prides herself in assisting clients in pursuing their dreams. Anna is known for her fabulous sense of humor and knowledge of broadway tunes.

Kahuna cavalier king charles spaniel Villalba Law Firm

Kahuna

Creative Director

Kahuna will give you the side eye if he thinks your ideas can be better. He also will give you a paw of approval when he thinks you're doing a great job!

Frisky cavalier king charles spaniel villalba law firm

Frisky

Document Shredder

Frisky gives lots of cuddles and kisses, but also has a penchant for destroying everything in sight!

Heartsong Entrepreneur Podcast

Check out the Heartsong Entrepreneur podcast and sign up for our newsletter for legal and business tips and inspiring stories of entrepreneurs listening to their heartsong!

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Trademark Registration Process

February 08, 20246 min read

“An image is not simply a trademark, a design, a slogan, or an easily remembered picture. It is a studiously crafted personality profile of an individual, institution, corporation, product or service.” - Daniel J. Boorstin

Demystifying the Trademark Registration Process

Many times I have clients come to me who want to register their marks, but are unsure of the process of the registration. Sometimes they've gone to the USPTO or secretary of state website and see the application and think that's all that it entails. Applying for registration of a trademark is much, much more than just filling out a piece of paper. The trademark application process is extremely complex; having an attorney to navigate it ensures proper guidance and increases your chances of success. We offer a variety of trademark application services to help you with this monumental decision.

Trademark Registration Process

**A trademark registration gives you a legal monopoly for the use of that mark in conjunction with specific goods or services. Registration is not an across the board monopoly to prevent others from using that mark. The same marks may be registered for different goods or services, like Delta for airlines and Delta for faucets.

Initial search

Ideally, before you even begin using a trademark/servicemark, you should conduct a search to discover any other marks that are out there that may be the same or similar to yours used along with your goods or services. The first search you can conduct is what we call a "knockout search," which consists of doing an initial search on your state trademark database and the USPTO database. This is just an initial search that covers the wording of a mark, and not necessarily any design elements. However, conducting a knockout search for trademarks is crucial to avoid potential conflicts and/or legal issues by identifying currently registered or pending registrations that may prevent your mark from obtaining registration, or worse, trademark infringement.

Comprehensive search

We conduct a comprehensive search by investigating not only registrations that are the same, but also similar to your mark, even in classes that may be ancillary that could cause a potential block to registration. Comprehensive searches include searching the USPTO database, state registrations, domain names, social profiles, websites and across the internet use of the mark in various iterations. The comprehensive search is then analyzed by the attorney to determine the risk level of filing the application and seeing it through to registration. Following the risk analysis, an opinion letter is drafted that shares the results and the attorney's risk assessment. By thoroughly assessing existing trademarks, you can protect your brand's integrity and ensure a smooth trademark registration process.

State trademark registration process

If you're looking at registration for a specific geographic area, then you will want to consider state trademark registration. Every state has its own process and application, and you should still conduct a search prior to filing the application.

Federal trademark registration process through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

The federal registration process is complex, requiring several steps, as well as a requirement of the mark actually being used in commerce. There are two types of applications: an in-use application for marks already in use, and intent-to-use application for marks that will be used at a later date, but an application is filed to reserve the mark. Intent-to-use applications will go through the same process with an additional step to provide a statement of use and evidence of use of the mark in the marketplace to convert the application to an in-use application.

Here is an overview of the process:

1. Identify classes

We assist you in determining the classes for your goods/services so we can conduct our knockout search, comprehensive search, and opinion letter. Trademarks are organized into various classes to separate them out for specific goods or services. For example, online educational courses fall into Class 41, whereas textbooks fall into Class 16.

2. Provide specimens

You will need to provide specimens of your mark in use in conjunction with your goods/services if you're filing an in-use application initially, or are converting an intent-to-use application to an in-use application. Specimens are evidence of use of the mark in the marketplace (what consumers see), such as a website, marketing materials, merchandise labels, or packaging.

3. File application

After obtaining the required information and specimens, we file the application for you. Following the filing, the USPTO will log the application into its database.

4. Assignment of application to examining attorney

Following a waiting period that is typically 6-9 months, the application is assigned to an examining attorney. The examining attorney will conduct her/his own search of the database. The results from this search may either be clearing the mark for publication, or issuing an Office Action. Office Actions require a response from us as your attorney of record, and can be for a variety of reasons such as requiring a disclaimer, or substitute specimen (non-substantive), or for likelihood of confusion, or descriptiveness (substantive). Substantive responses require a significant amount of legal research and drafting of arguments in support of registration. If a response is not filed, then your application will be abandoned.

5. Publication

Once the examining attorney approves the publication, the mark will be published in the Official Gazette. Trademarks are published in the Official Gazette to provide public notice and allow interested parties to oppose the registration if they believe it may cause confusion with their own trademarks. Interested parties have 30 days to file an opposition. If an opposition is filed against a trademark application, the matter is reviewed by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), which decides whether to uphold or reject the opposition based on the merits of the case. If an opposition is not filed, then the mark will proceed to registration.

6. Registration and maintenance

If the mark proceeds to the registration process, a certificate will be sent to you as the trademark owner. You have a duty to monitor and police your mark from potential infringers. Additionally, at the 5 year and 10 year anniversaries, you must file a declaration of use of the mark in commerce to maintain your registration. After you use your mark for 5 years, your mark then becomes incontestable, meaning no one can petition to cancel your mark. It is your responsibility to continue to use the mark in the manner of your registration, as trademark protection can last in perpetuity.

Navigating the trademark registration process is a crucial step to protect your brand identity and intellectual property rights. By understanding the process, conducting thorough trademark searches, and working with experienced attorneys like us, you can gain valuable legal protection to secure your mark. There are many benefits of trademark registration, including exclusive rights to use the mark, enhanced brand recognition, and the ability to enforce trademark rights against infringers. Investing time and resources into trademark registration is an investment in the long-term success and reputation of your business.


Sign up to work with us to file your trademark application!

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Shannon Villalba

Shannon Villalba is an experienced senior level business and intellectual property lawyer who empowers her clients to expand their legal mindset so they can be better entrepreneurs

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