Why it Took a YEAR to Get a Trademark Approved (And Why I’ll Never Get On a Plane Without Lysol)

“They” say you should blog at least once a week, ideally every day if possible. Hmmm. Well, that’s not exactly realistic…at least not for me! There are just so many projects I am working on.  As I write this post, I am at home sick on my couch, telling myself “You know, you really should be more consistent with this blogging stuff, Natalie…” 

Sometimes, I feel like I need three of me to tackle everything. (Preferably, three of me who are NOT sick, since my head is all cloudy right now, and I’m all discombobulated from being sick…)

Cough drops, Tylenol, eye drops, tea + me on my couch with my cat and a laptop = this blog post!
Cough drops, Tylenol, Vitamin C, eye drops and tea…oh my.

I just got back from vacation in California, and I’m playing catch up this week. Somehow, maybe on the plane – I caught a bunch of BAD stuff! Who knows how I got sick. Regardless,  I ended up with an ear infection, a sore throat, a cough…and…wait for it… PINK EYE?! 

Really…how does all of that happen at once…unless you are a 3 year-old?!

I was talking to my mom on Monday, and she reminded me how the airlines never disinfect those tray tables or armrests. (Eww! Gross…break out the Lysol and hand sanitizer.) I must say, too, it is really weird to be this sick in the middle of summer. Anyways, after a visit to my doctor and a trip to CVS, I’m armed with an antibiotic, prescription eye drops, cough drops, cough syrup, vitamin C, and hot tea.

Covermade Trademark for "Bed Making Reinvented"
The Trademark for “Bed Making Reinvented”

So, I thought as I’m laid up here on my couch with my laptop, a blanket and my cat…this would be the perfect time for me to do a blog post I have been meaning to do about trademarks, and why a recent trademark that we finally got approval for took so long. People always ask me about the process of getting patents and trademarks, so I try to discuss them on the blog as much as I can. 

Getting the Trademark Bed Making Reinvented Approved and Issued

Before I left for vacation, I got a notice from my attorney that our trademark for Bed Making Reinvented was finally approved and issued. I actually kind of forgot about it, since we filed for it back in April of 2014!

Then I started to wonder…wait…why on earth did this one take so long? Our first trademark for Covermade didn’t take that long. Then, I looked back at some files and emails, and found the reason for the hold up. There was another conflicting mark that someone else filed, to trademark the phrase Bed Making Butler. This could actually prevent Covermade’s trademark, Bed Making Reinvented, from being approved. Even though the trademark is not exactly the same, it could cause confusion among consumers, which is possible reason for disapproval.

June 25, 2015 - Intellectual Property Attorney, Melanie Martin-Jones, with me at for a women's event in Columbus, Ohio "The Power of Presence".
June 25, 2015 – Intellectual Property Attorney, Melanie Martin-Jones, with me at for a women’s event in Columbus, Ohio “The Power of Presence”.

What that meant for me was my mark could not be considered unless that one was abandoned. Turns out, whoever filed for the other trademark failed to reply to an “office action”. (Office action is just a fancy term the USPTO uses. It basically means a communication from the USPTO to an applicant about an application).  Since the applicant never replied to an office action, after a few months, Bed Making Butler was officially considered an “abandoned” mark. 

After that mark became abandoned, Bed Making Reinvented didn’t conflict with any other marks and was approved. However, it still had to be “published for opposition”. That just means any other trademark holders could contest it (within a limited time) if they thought it conflicted with their mark. So, it was published for opposition. We waited, and no one opposed it. Then it could finally be officially ISSUED…Phew!

Another thing we had to do is submit a “specimen” of the trademark. (I know that sounds like something in a petri dish in a lab, right?!) Actually, for the USPTO, a specimen is just a sample that proves the mark is being used in commerce. In my case, I had my attorney send in a PDF of our product packaging that shows that we actually use the phrase “Bed Making Reinvented” in commerce.

A year and about three months after first applying for it, the trademark for Bed Making Reinvented is officially ours and protected! Sheesh.

So, I have learned a few things over the past few weeks. First of all, just because you apply for a trademark for a word or phrase that isn’t being used, that doesn’t automatically mean you can necessarily get that trademark approved. There still may be other conflicts. Lastly, I learned to always bring anti-bacterial wipes on airplanes. And maybe some hand sanitizer : )

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Disclaimer: Nothing in this post is intended to be legal advice. Always consult an attorney for any legal questions. Keep in mind that I am not an attorney, I just share what I have learned in my journey as an inventor. 

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