Invented a sport and looking to get 501c3 status
Patents on our equipment and balls, logos?
Are the teams supposed to be s corps? privately owned?
How do i get this new sport into school?
How to start a pro league?
Generally, you should do a US full trademark search, regarding a potential name, which would include at least, USPTO registered trademarks, USPTO pending trademark applications, US state registrations, common law trademarks, and internet domain names to see if there are confusingly similar conflicting trademarks.
You may want to file a U.S. trademark application regarding the name and/or logo for selling/rendering goods/services.
You may be able to file for one or more patent applications.
It is important to keep your potentially patentable concept confidential and not do any sales or offers for sales prior to filing, because although there is a 1 year grace period in the United States, in most if not all, foreign countries there is no such grace period.
You may lose your rights to patent something based on your conduct.
You should discuss this immediately in a private consultation with a registered patent attorney. Many registered patent attorneys, have free initial telephone consultations.
Legal Disclaimer- the information provided herein is not legal advice. Transmission of this information is not intended to create, and receipt by you does not constitute, an attorney / client relationship. Although effort has been made to ensure that the answers are correct, Law Office of Walter Tencza Jr. cannot and does not offer any warranty, express or implied that the answers contained are accurate statements of law. This document is provided for informational purposes only. Viewers must not act upon any information without first seeking advice from a qualified attorney outside the context of this document.
You have a lot of specific questions as you should, but this is not really the forum to address them. Also some concerns are not really for any lawyer to weigh in on like for example how to start a pro sports league.
I will offer some helpful remarks on trademark below, which of course will be important and I encourage you to get some proper advice on all of this before making any commitments.
Before you invest in any trademark make sure you get some legal guidance upfront. It is of course best practice to clear it before you start using any trademark and starting with a strong one is your best strategy. Know as well that merely registering your business name with a state or county agency or acquiring a domain does not convey any right to use that name in commerce as a source identifier or trademark. For example, I can presumably register my new tech start up "Boogle" with the PA secretary of state because there is no other business already doing business there under that name, but this does not mean that I would not be infringing on the Google trademark, which I would be. The onus is on you to ensure the name you choose is not a problem.
Your trademark will be one of if not the most important and valuable business assets you will have and you will ultimately spend more money in support if it than you will anywhere else (advertising, marketing, PR, branding, packaging, etc.). So you owe it to your business and yourself to make sure you handle this properly upfront and the first order of business always starts with a proper and comprehensive clearance.
Whenever you endeavor into investing in a trademark it is very important that you conduct the proper clearance due diligence on all the text names upfront and before you start spending any money in support of it or submit an application to the USPTO. In the US, this means searching under both federal (USPTO) as well as common law because trademark rights stem from use in this country NOT registration. This means that acquiring a federal registration does not necessarily mean that you are not infringing on another's intellectual property.
If you need more clarification, I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with and know you are free to work with counsel located anywhere as you have many options available not just those that provide services in your home state.
DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed with the law firm of Natoli-Legal, LLC on the basis of this posting.
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