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Cheryl Hodgson

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Intellectual Property Attorney in Mission Viejo, CA

Hodgson Legal
23052 Alicia Pkwy, Suite H119
Mission Viejo, CA 92692
Phone: 424-268-4567
Fax: 310-919-3909
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2011 - 2015, 2018 - 2022
Licensed in California Since: 1989
Practice Areas: Intellectual Property, Closely Held Business, Business/Corporate, International, Media and Advertising
Languages Spoken: English, French
  • Virtual Appointments
Attorney Profile

Attorney Cheryl Hodgson is the founder and owner of Hodgson Legal, founder of Brandaide, and host of the Brand (R)evolution Podcast. She is author of the international best-seller book on trademarks for entrepreneurs: Registered Trademark: The Business Owners' Essential Guide to Brand Protection. Cheryl is an internationally recognized trademark, copyright, and music law attorney. She has served as President of the California Copyright Conference and has been recognized as one of the top 1000 IP attorneys worldwide.  Learn what Cheryl's clients have to say.

Legitimize your brand with federal trademark registration. Trademark registration is the legal process of becoming authentic. A trademark registration for your brand creates public trust, so, prospective customers aren’t confused should they stumble across multiple brands with the same name. Legitimizing your brand with a federal trademark also means you have carved out your own safe space within which to market to your customers.

Trademark registration and litigation are federal matters, so they are not locale-specific as to where your attorney is based. A USPTO trademark application is filed and the right to register is determined in Washington, D.C. For this reason, Cheryl is able to develop trademark registration strategies for clients located throughout the U.S., as well as serving International clients.

The idea of a brand dates back to Jolly Old England in the middle ages. Farmers needed to identify their wandering livestock and cloth makers needed to prevent knock-offs, even back then! A brand became the means of distinguishing your product or service from those of your competitors and was meant to indicate trusted brand authenticity!  In today’s crazy world, knowing who to trust is a big deal so creating brand legitimacy and brand authenticity with a registered trademark is an important part of building public trust, i.e., brand reputation.

A registered trademark also places the world on notice of the legitimacy of your brand, similar to recording the deed to your house or registering the title to your car. Your brand becomes defendable against squatters, parties intruding into your safe space, and it’s vital when and if you need to do so before a judge.

Cheryl's three-step process is designed to help entrepreneurs and business owners SELECT | SECURE | SUSTAIN® a memorable brand that increases business value and legitimacy in the marketplace, and protects your right to expand and grow your business.

There’s are two other compelling reasons to legitimize your business with a federal trademark. When you seek funding, the value of your intangible assets and legal protection for them is of foremost concern to investors. They want to know about your IP, including your trademarks. Trademark registration reduces investment risk for investors and prospective purchasers. The registration creates legal certainty and a means of defending rights in the brand.

If you are ready to protect your most valuable assets and multiply your business value, do reach out to Cheryl. She’s not just a top expert in the field. She loves to help her clients make smart moves, so you can protect your business and create lasting value. Schedule a time to Meet with Cheryl

 

 

Practice Areas
  • 50%Intellectual Property
  • 20%Closely Held Business
  • 10%Business/Corporate
  • 10%International
  • 10%Media and Advertising
Focus Areas

Copyrights, Trademarks, Intellectual Property Law

Selections

10 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2011 - 2015, 2018 - 2022

White Papers

  • Online Brands Need Brand Legitimacy & Brand Authenticity (2022) - Online brands must create brand legitimacy and brand authenticity as part of the process. Brand legitimacy and brand authenticity ensure your online brand is viewed as trustworthy and authentic by the public. This is the beginning of establishing a good brand reputation that is both an asset of the business, and one that is legally protectable. Step one is to secure a federal trademark registration. Intangible assets, including your brand and the trademarks that secure brand assets, are considered "goodwill." Goodwill is an actual business asset that is often carried on the business' balance sheet under "general intangibles."  This includes your brand reputation. Read on . . .
  • How to Trademark a Name in Canada (2021) - Hodgson Legal/ Brandaide has carefully assembled a network of world class international trademark professionals to service the needs of our American clients needing protection overseas. Local Expertise for Global Business.
  • Registered Trademark: Six Reasons You Need One (2021) - A trademark registration serves as an insurance policy for brands and businesses online and off. Do you need one for the names of your products or services? The process for obtaining a trademark registration can be confusing and complex. Understanding the benefits of having a registered trademark can help decide if one is right for your business. I’ve developed a three-step process Select | Secure | Sustain to guide successfully vax your brand. In the online digital world, goods and services are marketed and accessed across more marketing channels than ever before. While traditional media such as radio, television and print advertising are still important, they are only a few of the channels used to reach consumers.
  • A Trademark Search is Important (2016) - A registered trademark search is in Step 1 of the Brandaide 3 Step Trademark Registration Process, SELECT | SECURE | SUSTAIN. Before spending money on new packaging, marketing, or advertising to launch a new product, it’s important to perform a registered trademark search to learn whether there are pending applications or registered trademarks that could cause USPTO trademark application to be rejected based upon likelihood of confusion. Read 5 Reasons Your Trademark Will Be Rejected.Most new brand owners perform a business name trademark search to make sure they don’t get sued by a third party. This is the most important reason.
  • Why a USPTO Trademark Application Will be Rejected (2021) - Who wants to file a USPTO trademark application to trademark business name and then get totally shot down, rejected? As many as 70% of all USPTO trademark applications are initially rejected by the examining trademark attorney at the Trademark Office. Some Trademark Office actions are scary, complicated, and require an expert trademark attorney to file a proper trademark office action response. Others are simple. Your USPTO trademark application will be approved if you can cut through the legalese and file a proper response. The most important decision that determines your success in applying to trademark business name is to find a trademark attorney with the skill and experience to identify whether or not you can overcome the rejection!  Read More
  • Understand the Trademark Consent to Use Agreement (2017) - Trademark consent-to-use agreements, are routinely used by trademark attorneys to secure registration of trademarks in the U.S. Trademark Office. Such agreements are also called co-existence agreements or live and let live agreements.  A trademark consent to use agreement can be viewed as a “friendly” settlement agreement–friendly in the sense that there is often no litigation pending. The parties simply agree in advance to avoid any risk of confusion between their respective goods or services of the parties by setting forth terms under which both parties may maintain both use and registration of their respective marks.  Read More
  • Trade Dress Registration: Trade Dress Examples (2021) - Trade Dress Registration: It’s not a word or logo Apple has created trade dress intellectual property and obtained a trade dress registration for more than its Apple trademark – the bitten apple. It also has a registered trademark, a trade dress registration for its Apple Store Design. Most new companies begin to protect intellectual property when they file to register a name and logo. These trademarks are a way in which the public recognizes a particular product and the company that sells it.  However, trade dress registrations are another type of registered trademark. Let’s look at some other trade dress examples that are also registered trademarks.Read More:
  • How to Protect Trade Secrets (2015) - HOW TO PROTECT A TRADE SECRET: KEEP IT SECRET! Protecting a trade secret and confidential information is not only advisable, it’s imperative in order to prevent improper disclosure of your company mojo to competitors or the public. Sales data, customer lists, secret formulas, drawings, and ingredients are all examples of company information that should be protected from unauthorized disclosure and use by employees and third parties. Confidential company information is often referred to as “proprietary information” in the business world. “Confidential Information” is information that is “not public knowledge (such as certain financial data, test results, or trade secrets) and that is viewed as the property of the holder.”
  • Brand Guidelines Inform Trademark Use (2022) - Why Brand Guidelines are Important Brand guidelines are an essential part of sustaining brand protection. Creating an effective brand guide begins with establishing and adhering to proper trademark use by the brand owner, lest trademark protection is lost if the brand name becomes a noun for your product i.e., a generic trademark. Trademark owners are required to monitor trademark use, including monitoring the use of the mark by third parties. For this reason, a brand manual is vital to the health of your brand. Brand guidelines instruct affiliates, distributors, licensees, and marketing and advertising team members. The Brand Guide teaches affiliates, licensees, and distributors how to use your trademarks in media as well as in marketing and advertising
  • Registered Trademark: 5 Choices (2020) - When selecting a new brand name for your product or service, there a five choices. Two are really bad. This post shares the types of trademarks and which ones qualify for a USPTO trademark. 
  • How to Trademark a Name in the UK (2021) - In today's digital world, the success of an online business brings with it the need to secure international trademark protection. International trademark registration is based upon trademark treaties such as the Madrid Protocol.  In some instances, it's better to file directly using a foreign associate. Hodgson Legal/ Brandaide has carefully assembled a network of world-class international trademark professionals to service the needs of our American clients needing protection overseas. Local Expertise for Global Business.

About Cheryl Hodgson

First Admitted: 1976, Colorado

Professional Webpage: https://brandaide.com/about

Newsletters

  • SELECT a trademark that you can successfully register. This invaluable guide will show you how to select a trademark that qualifies for federal registration and the importance of performing a trademark search prior to investing in marketing and packaging materials., Brandaide Guide to Trademark Selection, Entrepreneurs, Pre-IPO Disruptive Brands, Creative Destruction Brands, Fashion Brands, Consumer Brands, Technology Companies, Entertainment Companies, Musical Artists, Authors, Digital Marketing Agencies, Professional Coaches, Musical Recording Artists, Musical Publishers, Songwriters, Music Libraries

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • Professor of Music Law at Loyola University School of Law
  • SELECT a trademark that you can successfully register. This invaluable guide will show you how to select a trademark that qualifies for federal registration and the importance of performing a trademark search prior to investing in marketing and packaging materials., Author, Brandaide Guide to Trademark Selection, Brandaide, Entrepreneurs, Marketing Professionals And Brand Owners, 2021
  • Speaker, Beverly Hills Bar Association
  • Speaker, eMarketing Association
  • In her international best-selling book, Cheryl shares her proprietary three-step trademark registration process for new brand owners. Select | Secure | Sustain. What is a trademark and when should you seek to register your brand names? The types of brand names that qualify for a registered trademark, and which do not. The process to successfully secure a registered trademark. Reasons your application will be refused and ways you can avoid rejection. How to avoid being misled or scammed by dishonest opportunists. How to sidestep bad advice and find an expert you can trust., Author, Registered Trademark: Business Owners' Essential Guide to Brand Protection, Entrepreneurs And Mid-tier Private Companies, 2019
  • Board and is Past President of the California Copyright Conference

Bar/Professional Activity

  • ADR Programs Committee of the International Trademark Association
  • Member of the International Trademark Association (INTA)
  • Member, Los Angeles Copyright Society
  • World Intellectual Property Panel of Mediators and Arbitrators for Intellectual Property Disputes
  • Member, Intellectual Property Section of the California State Bar
  • New York
  • California

Special Licenses/Certifications

  • Certified for Arbitration and Mediation of Intellectual Property Disputes and Advanced Workshops for the Uniform Resolution of Domain Disputes at the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, Switzerland
  • Certified Yoga Instructor and Practitioner

Representative Clients

  • Hay House Publishing, Infinite Electronics, Black Flag, The Clash, 2008

Educational Background

  • University of Santa Monica, MS in Spiritual Psychology, 2013

Videos

  • Find out if you are registration ready, i.e., are you ready to file for a USPTO trademark? Learn whether your application is likely to be approved, or whether you need to plan for success. Take our 2-minute quiz and receive a FREE customized report detailing your next steps on the path to success., Are You Trademark Registration Ready?, Entrepreneurs, Pre-IPO Disruptive Brands, Fashion Brands, Consumer Brands, Technology Companies, Entertainment Companies, Musical Artists, Authors, Digital Marketing Agencies, Professional Coaches, Musical Recording Artists, Musical Publishers, Songwriters, Music Libraries, 2021
  • Meet Trademark Copyright expert, Cheryl Hodgson. Cheryl is a respected successful trademark attorney who has defended the rights of brand owners around the world for over 30 years. Cheryl has written the definitive book for new brand owners, WITHOUT the legalese.  After years of seeing really good people end up in really bad situations, Cheryl wrote this book to provide business owners and emerging brands with the foundational knowledge they need to successfully SELECT | SECURE | SUSTAIN trademarks for brand and business that is BUILT TO LAST., Registered Trademark: Business Owners' Essential Guide to Brand Protection, Entrepreneurs, Pre-IPO Disruptive Brands, Creative Destruction Brands, Fashion Brands, Consumer Brands, Technology Companies, Entertainment Companies, Musical Artists, Authors, Digital Marketing Agencies, Professional Coaches, Musical Recording Artists, Musical Publishers, Songwriters, Music Libraries, 2021

Industry Groups

  • Authors
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Fashion
  • Music Industry
  • Online Brands
  • Publishers
Find Me Online
Recent Activity

Comments

  • “Cheryl Hodgson is an excellent intellectual property and entertainment law attorney with not only superior knowledge and skills, but outstanding integrity and dedication to her clients.”
  • “Cheryl is one of the most respected IP attorneys in the field. She has extensive federal court litigation experience with trademarks, copyrights and contract rights pertaining to music industry agreements. She conducts a popular blog with articles on current developments and litigation in copyright, trademark, right of publicity, and entertainment branding.Cheryl has a sophisticated understanding of global registration and licensing strategies for intellectual property rights. She served last year as President at California Copyright Conference in the Los Angeles area.”
  • “Very creative and knowledgeable attorney focused on long term client relationship and becoming trusted advisor. Tenacious and aggressive in protecting client interests. Highly ethical and disciplined.”

These comments were made by fellow attorneys during the annual nomination process.

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Office Location for Cheryl Hodgson

23052 Alicia Pkwy
Suite H119
Mission Viejo, CA 92692

Phone: 424-268-4567

Fax: 310-919-3909

Last Updated: 5/15/2022

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