Business

       SUCCESSFUL TRADEMARK CASE    Applicant: Optics Company  Business: Optic component and lens designing and manufacturing  Nationality: China  Applying for: Trademark  Product: Optical Lens  Challenges:  Had two previous denials by USPTO for the same trademark     Optics Company sought to file for a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for its new optical lens it had designed. The company felt it imperative that their trademark be approved as to ensure continued productivity and growth of the company. While Optics Company was still based in China, they tried filing for a trademark with the USPTO but was denied twice. Without this approval, the company would not be protected from others who may attempt to steal the trademark. Desperately needing help, Optics Company came to Tsang and Associates wondering what we could to assist them. We believed strongly in their case and helped them refile their application on July 14, 2015. The trademark was approved February 16, 2016.   Keys to Success   When Optics Company first came to Tsang and Associates for help, we learned that they hired a Chinese trademark agent to assist them in filing for a trademark with the USPTO. However they received notice of an office action to deny and reject the trademark application. Even though they were previously denied, we believed strongly that we could overcome the reasons for denial given by the USPTO.  The denial from the initial filing came from the basis of, as stated in the denial letter, Trademark Act Section 2(d) which “bars registration of an applied-for mark that so resembles a registered ark that it is likely a potential consumer would be confused, mistaken, or deceived as to the source of the goods of the applicant and registrant”. USPTO gave reasons for denial of “similarity of marks, similarity and nature of the goods, and similarity of the trade channels of the goods”.  USPTO claimed that “applicant’s mark and design is similar to the registered marks in sound, appearance, and connotation. All of the marks include the wording ‘XXXX’. Although the marks include different stylization and/or design elements, for a composite mark containing both words and a design, the word portion may be more likely to be impressed upon a purchaser’s memory and to be used when requesting the goods and/or services”. And thus, USPTO believed that the marks had the same commercial impression. In addition, according to precedence, the respective goods need only be “related in some manner and/or if the circumstances surrounding their marketing be such that they could give rise to the mistaken belief that the goods emanate from the same source” to be considered related. Thus Optics Company’s identification of the goods was deemed to encompass the existing registrant’s goods and thus was denied.  Despite these objections from USPTO, we believed that we could overcome these reasons and help our client gain approval of the trademark for the optical lenses. In the filing that we assisted Optics Company to perform, we took heed of the USPTO reasons for denial. As such, we were able to help the company narrow their trademark so that it wouldn’t be commercially deceiving. In addition, we made sure that our trademark filing was more focused than before, ensuring that there would not be grounds for any contention regarding the similarity of marks or the relatedness of goods. We took extra care in caution, fully examining the existing trademarks and making sure that Optics Company’s product and mark would not be mistaken for any other. After gathering all the facts and details, we helped to form our client’s trademark application and filed it on July 14, 2015.   Outcome   Our client’s trademark application was approved by USPTO on February 16, 2016 about 7 months after the initial filing.  *Name has been changed to protect client identity.

Optics Company has a new optical lens trademarked by the United States Patent and Trademark Office despite two previous denials by USPTO. We helped them narrow their trademark to avoid similarity of marks or relatedness of goods as points of contention.

       Legal Opinion Letter: Last Will and Testament in China    Client: Ms. Lee*  Nationality: China  Type of Case: Last Will and Testament: Litigation in China  Challenges:  Ex-wife and two daughters claimed inheritance  Mr. Lee’s will did not mention Ms. Lee nor her daughter  Ex-wife acquired a legal opinion validating the will  Mr. Lee’s will explicitly stated that all of his belongings would belong to the ex-wife  The case was in Chinese jurisdiction     Desperate, Ms. Lee reached out to Tsang & Associates all the way from China in dire need of assistance. Mr. Lee, Ms. Lee’s husband, had just passed away leaving Ms. Lee and her daughter by themselves in China. When Mr. Lee passed away, his ex-wife claimed that her ex-husband’s property belonged to her, as Mr. Lee’s notarized will specifically stated that he would transfer all the property to her in the event of his death. And as a result, a legal struggle evolved over the possession of Mr. Lee’s assets and property; the court froze all of his assets in China. The ex-wife had already hired an attorney to review and validate the Last Will and Testament of Mr. Lee. Distressed, our client Ms. Lee came to us and asked us to issue a third party legal opinion to be submitted in trial in order to demonstrate that the property left behind by her husband was indeed hers.   Keys to Success   When we first received notice of Ms. Lee’s situation and after speaking with her, we definitely felt for her as she was going through this situation following her husband’s death. Litigation had already started in China and the judge required proof that she had a share in the property left behind. It was extremely hard for her as the ex-wife had already acquired a legal opinion validating the will. However, despite this challenge, we strongly believed that Ms. Lee was eligible to receive Mr. Lee’s belongings. We knew right from the start that there was substantive law that supported our client’s case; her husband’s property would belong to her and her daughter, not the ex-wife.  We proved, using California Probate Code 21610 that Ms. Lee was entitled to protections as a spouse who had been omitted from her husband’s will despite the fact that the will specifically stated that the ex-wife would receive the property left behind. We demonstrated that Mr. Lee had executed his will in November of 2006, but married our client in July of 2007. No way could Mr. Lee have intentionally left out Ms. Lee from his will nor could Ms. Lee have waived her right to share in the estate and property in question; thus this case did not fall under any exception to this code. We were able to show therefore that since Mr. Lee’s marriage to Ms. Lee came after the execution of the will, it was as if the executed will had not even been created and as determined under California Probate Code 100, Ms. Lee was indeed entitled to receive half of her husband’s property. Ultimately, we proved that the letter submitted by the ex-wife’s attorney was irrelevant. The other attorney merely proved that the notarized will fulfilled the requirements of a valid will; this withstanding, we proved that because the will was executed prior to the marriage to Ms. Lee, Mr. Lee’s will was invalid.  By reviewing the entire will that Mr. Lee executed and alluding to California law, we were able to prove that Ms. Lee and her daughter, despite being omitted from the will, were entitled to the property left behind by Mr. Lee, closing off the ex-wife from any foothold given to her in the will that was executed. We proved that the will was no longer valid. Thus, we demonstrated that Ms. Lee and her daughter were to receive their share of the assets left by Mr. Lee, completely blocking the ex-wife from taking any property.   Outcome   After we had our letter authenticated and translated, we sent the document to China to be reviewed. Ms. Lee was successful in her case and was extremely thankful, as she was able to retain the possessions of her deceased husband.  *Name has been changed to protect client identity.

A widow fighting a legal battle against her deceased husband's ex-wife asks for a legal opinion letter showing that the ex-wife should not receive any of the husband's property. We showed that the will crafted was invalid and thus our client was entitled to her share of the property.