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That's why You Need Us to Protect It

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Business and legal Strategy in Entrepreneurship

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You're a visionary entrepreneur whose heartsong is guiding you to create a business that will leave an impact in the world.

Your business is a part of you and you want to see it thrive as you do.

At every phase of your business, having a legal strategy is essential for protection.

We guide you with a business and legal strategy integrated with the chakras to help you create an aligned business that makes your heart sing.

A Law Firm for Heart-Centered Entrepreneurs Like You

Heartsong Chakra Framework

Our Unique Holistic Legal Approach

We get that legal can be scary or daunting, but it's even worse when you don't understand how it can benefit you. Our proprietary framework, The Heartsong Chakra Framework™, has helped many entrepreneurs like you understand the business and legal aspects they need to help protect and build the business of their dreams. The Heartsong Chakra Framework™ is similar to a person's chakra system, but as it is applied to a business. It incorporates things such as business entity foundations, trademarks, copyrights, contracts, and other pertinent aspects of a business.

Through using The Heartsong Chakra Framework™, we can help you can create a business strategy that works for you and empower you with the knowledge you need to succeed as an entrepreneur.

Intuitive Insightful Legal

Intuitive, Insightful, Empowering You

We take into account how you and your business are interconnected. We look at things such as your Human Design profile, your learning style, and long term vision for your business in order for us to build a legal and business strategy for you and your business to follow. We give you tools to help you grow as an entrepreneur and a person, not just the legal stuff.

Feeling out of alignment with yourself can affect your business. Getting your legal done centers you.

Intellectual Property Protection

Intellectual Property Management

Oh hello Brand, we're happy to meet you!

There are so many aspects of building a brand, and we help you build it and protect it! We are passionate about helping you create and use your brand assets like trademarks, servicemarks, and trade dress that work together to help you stand out in the world. We're artists ourselves, so we get that building goodwill and recognition for your brand is important.

We work with you to determine what IP assets your business has, how to develop them, and whether or not particular marks should be registered federally or in your state. We counsel you on keeping your trade secrets confidential with contracts, negotiating and drafting license agreements, and devising a strategy as your business grows.

Protecting your business from the beginning gives you peace of mind and builds a strong brand.

Hey there! I'm Shannon, the Heartsong Lawyer.

Shannon Villalba

Using my Heartsong Chakra Framework™ I help high vibe visionary entrepreneurs by creating aligned business and legal strategies so they can make a positive impact in the world.

My clients and colleagues favorably call me the go-to-guide for visionaries seeking heart-centered legal and business counsel and I always say, "follow your Heartsong!" It is my passion to empower entrepreneurs to take themselves and their businesses to the next level, to gain the knowledge they need to succeed, and the mindset that it takes to get them there. From working with soloprenuers to multi-million dollar companies, I understand at the heart is an entrepreneur who wants connection, peace of mind, and to leave a legacy and impact in the world. I aim to help you feel encouraged, safe, and in control while we pursue your dreams. I'm a mom, multi-entrepreneur, cancer survivor and holistic practioner whose vision is to empower others to do great things!

Frequently Asked Questions

Shannon Villalba intellectual property lawyer

What also makes us unique?

We always offer transparent flat fee pricing. No dubious legal bills from us! We're also a fully virtual firm, and utilize technology to give our clients easy access to our services.

What does intellectual property (IP) encompass?

Intellectual property includes a wide range of creative and innovative assets. It covers copyrights for artistic and literary works, patents for inventions and processes, trademarks for brand identity, trade secrets for confidential business information, and more. Essentially, IP protects your intangible creations and assets.

What's the difference between a copyright and a trademark?

Copyrights protect original works of creative expressions like music, paintings, photographs, and books. Trademarks are logos, names, phrases or other things that identify the source of goods or services.

What's a common law trademark?

A common law trademark is a symbol, slogan, word(s) or name that is used in commerce to indicate the source of goods. These are unregistered marks that become trademarks out of use in a geographic area.

What's a servicemark?

Servicemarks are words, symbols, and slogans that are used to indicate the source of services provided.

How do I enforce my intellectual property rights if they're infringed upon?

Enforcing your IP rights typically involves legal action. Start by gathering evidence of the infringement, such as copies of the infringing work, dates, and communication records. You may pursue cease-and-desist letters, negotiations, or litigation if necessary to protect your rights and seek remedies.

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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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