Our Terms and Conditions

Last updated January 4, 2024

Take a moment to read these rules before you use our website. If you use our website, it means you agree to follow these rules and our privacy guidelines. If you don't want to follow these rules, please don't use our website.

About Us,

Our Services

and These Terms

Villalba Firm LLC ("we," "us") is an Ohio limited liability company that provides legal services ("Services"). All references to our Services include our website ("Website") all information, photos, videos, graphics, logos, materials, and other content ("Content") provided through our Website. We and our licensors own all the rights to the Content, and this includes the intellectual property rights. All Content is protected by laws in the United States and other countries, through copyright and trademark laws. You agree not to take away, change, or hide any copyright, trademark, service mark, or other notices that show up with the Content on the website.

These rules, called "Terms," are an agreement between you and us about using our Website at www.villalbalawfirm.com. When you use our Website or Services, you're agreeing to follow these rules, along with our privacy guidelines and the law. Sometimes we might change these rules, and the most recent version will have a date showing when it started. If you keep using our website and services, it means you agree to follow the updated rules. Make sure to check these rules now and then. If you don't like the changes, please don't use our website.

Using and Accessing Our Website


You represent and warrant that you are at least 18 years of age to access and use our website.

As long as you follow these rules, you can use our website for your personal, non-commercial use. Using the site for anything else is not allowed.

In some states, the law doesn't allow certain restrictions on implied warranties or limitations on damages. If these laws apply to you, some of the things we said may not apply, and you might have extra rights.

Prohibited Uses

By using our Website, you agree not to:

  • use the Website for any other reason than your personal use

  • use our Website or Services for any illegal purpose, to violate any laws or regulations, to violate or encourage others to violate third party rights, including the infringement or misappropriation of intellectual property rights

  • to access, monitor, or copy any content or information provided on our Website using any robot, spider, scraper, or automated or manual means for any purpose without our written consent

  • interfere with the security features of our Website or Services or attempt to interfere with the proper functioning of the Website (e.g., disabling or circumventing features that limit your use or copying any content of the Website or reverse engineer our Services to discover its source code)

  • access or use our Website to distribute any virus or other harmful code

  • use our Website or Services in a way that could harm our reputation or the goodwill, or that of anyone else.

  • use the Website or our Services for the solicitation of business or in connection with a commercial enterprise

  • attempt to do, or assist anyone else to do, any of the above.

Intellectual

Property

You understand and agree that everything on the website and the software we use is our property or the property of those who let us use it. This includes patents, copyrights, trademarks, and other rights, and we keep all these rights. You can't use our trademarks, service marks, or other intellectual property without our written permission, and that includes any use that might confuse people or harm us.

If you break these rules, our usual legal actions might not be enough to make things right. So, we could ask for specific actions, stop you from doing something, or both. We might also ask for damages and for you to cover our expenses, like lawyers' fees, to solve any disputes. We have different ways to solve problems, and our rights and actions can overlap.

You understand and agree that everything on the website and the software we use is our property or the property of those who let us use it. This includes patents, copyrights, trademarks, and other rights, and we keep all these rights. You can't use our trademarks, service marks, or other intellectual property without our written permission, and that includes any use that might confuse people or harm us.

If you break these rules, our usual legal actions might not be enough to make things right. So, we could ask for specific actions, stop you from doing something, or both. We might also ask for damages and for you to cover our expenses, like lawyers' fees, to solve any disputes. We have different ways to solve problems, and our rights and actions can overlap.

Downloadable Content


By providing your email address, creating a user account, enrolling in our programs, or participating in our subscription program/membership we will provide you with a limited, non-exclusive, and personal license to use our downloadable content such as ebooks, courses, videos, templates, and forms (“Downloadable Content”) on our Website that you agree to exclusively use for your own personal or internal business benefit. You warrant and agree that you have no right to modify, edit, copy, reproduce, create derivative works, reverse engineer, alter, enhance or in any way exploit any Downloadable Content in any way, including creating any competing (services, products) based upon our Downloadable Content.

Notice of Copyright Violation


If you believe any content posted or appearing on our Website possibly constitutes copyright infringement of any of your creative work, please provide us with written notice immediately along with the following information: (i) a description of the work you believe has been infringed; (ii) a description of the material you claim is infringing your work and a detailed description of where it is located on our Website or other social media platforms; (iii) your full name, address, telephone number, and email address; (iv) a written statement by you that you have a good faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized; (v) a statement by you, made under penalty of perjury, that the above information in your notice is accurate and that you are the copyright owner or authorized to act on the copyright owner's behalf; and (vi) an electronic or physical signature. Notice of Copyright Violations should be sent to us at: thevillalbafirm@gmail.com.

Links to Third Party Websites


Our Website may contain third-party links. You assume all risks associated with these third-party links, subject to their terms and conditions of use. We are not responsible for any third-party content or services.

Indemnification

You are responsible for how you use our website and services. To the fullest extent allowed by law, you agree to protect, not harm, and compensate Villalba Firm, our owners, directors, officers, employees, agents, consultants, and affiliates for any claims, liabilities, damages, losses, and expenses (including reasonable lawyers' and accounting fees) related to:

  • your access to, use, or inability to use our Website or Services

  • your violation of these Terms or any law or regulation to access, monitor, or copy any content or information provided on our Website using any robot, spider, scraper, or automated or manual means for any purpose without our written consent

  • your breach or violation of these Terms, our Privacy Policy, or any of our policies

  • any third-party claim relating to any actual or alleged breach by you of any representation, warranty, covenant, or obligation hereunder

  • any infringement or other violation of intellectual property by you of the rights of any other user or third party

  • any disputes between you and any third-party

  • the Services in general or the software or systems that make the Services available

If you have to defend us, we can take control of the situation, but you still need to help us.

Limitation of Liability and

Warranties

  • Our website and services are provided "as is," and we don't offer any warranties. We can't guarantee the accuracy, reliability, or content of any information on our website or services.

  • We are not responsible for any losses or damages that result from relying on information or content posted on our website, services, or sent to you.

  • You agree that we won't be responsible for any kind of damages, including direct, indirect, special, incidental, fair, or consequential damages. This includes things like lost profits, delays, or the inability to use our website or services. It also includes damages related to the information, software, products, services, and graphics obtained through our website or services. This applies whether the cause is a contract, negligence, strict liability, or any other reason, even if we or our suppliers have been told about the possibility of damages. However, this might not apply to you if your state or jurisdiction doesn't allow excluding or limiting liability for consequential or incidental damages.

  • Our website and services might have inaccuracies or errors. It's up to you to check if the information on our website, services, or any linked third-party sites is accurate and complete.

By using our website and services, you agree to this disclaimer voluntarily. If you don't agree with this limit on our responsibility, please don't use or access our website or services.

International Users


Our Website and Services are controlled, operated, and administered from our offices in Ohio, within the United States. If you access our Website or Services from a location outside the United States, you are responsible for compliance with all applicable local laws. You agree that you will not use our Website or Services in any country or in any manner prohibited by any applicable laws, restrictions or regulations.

Dispute Resolution


Should any dispute arise between you and us with regards to these Terms, you agree to resolve the issue in the following ways:

  • You must provide notice of the dispute with 15 days to try to resolve the issue. If no resolution occurs after 35 days, we will agree to mediation in the courts of Butler County, Ohio.

  • To the fullest extent permissible by law, you further agree that you are responsible for all costs associated with initiation and administration of any mediation, including attorney's fees and court costs.

Governing Law Jurisdiction and Venue


This Agreement is construed in accordance with and governed by the laws of Ohio. You voluntarily consent to the jurisdiction of the courts located in Butler County, Ohio, and the venue of any cause of action will be undertaken in Butler County, Ohio.

No Joint Venture or Other Relationship


Nothing in these Terms will be construed to create any joint venture, partnership, employment, or agency relationship between you and Villalba Firm or our affiliates. An attorney-client relationship will only exist upon execution of our engagement agreement.

Payments


You agree that you are responsible for the payment of all fees and charges associated with our Services. All payments will be made in United States dollars. You further agree that we may recover from you any overdue fees and charges which apply to your use of our Services using any available means of collection. Should you hire us for legal services, payment terms and conditions will be governed by our engagement agreement.

Due to the nature of our downloadable content, we do not offer any refunds.

General Provisions

  • Severability/Waiver: If any provision of these Terms is deemed void, invalid, or unenforceable for any reason by any arbiter or court of competent jurisdiction, then such provision will be enforced to the maximum extent possible under applicable law. All provisions of these Terms are severable and will not affect the validity or enforceability of the remaining provisions. Any failure by us to exercise any right or remedy under these Terms will not constitute a waiver of that right or remedy or any other right or remedy.

  • Modification: We reserve the right to modify and revise these Terms at any time. We will post any revised Terms and update the “Last Updated” date at the top. It is your responsibility to review these notices and any modifications. You accept these new Terms if you use or continue to use our Website or Services.

  • Assignment/Third-Party Beneficiaries: You may not assign or otherwise transfer any of your rights or obligations under these Terms without our prior written approval. Any alleged assignment without our permission is null and void. These Terms do not grant any third-party beneficiary rights. Agreements with third-party providers are separate from this Agreement.

  • Force Majeure: You agree that we will not be liable to you for any failure or delay in performing any obligation under these Terms due to any circumstances beyond our reasonable control including, without limitation, acts of God, natural disasters, weather events, fires, epidemics, pandemics, power failure, internet or other communications outage, service interruption, third party supplier failure, virus or other harmful code, denial of service or other cyber-attack, acts or orders of government, acts of war, terrorism, embargoes, insurrection, strikes, labor disputes and riots or other acts of civil disorder.

Entire Agreement


These Terms, our Privacy Policy, and other policies constitute the entire agreement between you and us, and govern your use of our Website and Services, and supersede prior agreements, written or oral, between you and us.

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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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1329 E Kemper Rd. Suite 4100C

Cincinnati, OH 45245

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Licensed in Ohio

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