“Make no mistake about it. If you want ownership of any kind in the United States or any country on the hundreds of ideas you’re creating, you must take the affirmative step to begin trademarking.” – David Postolski

As a small business owner or someone with intellectual property, you will find this Finding Brave episode extremely helpful, because our expert guest today shares vital information that will not only protect you legally, but also will help you sleep at night and reduce the stress and worry around preserving the ideas that are yours.  

David Postolski, a partner at Gearhart Law, is a registered patent attorney and Intellectual Property attorney. With over 17 years’ experience, David specializes in assisting inventors, creators, artists, start-ups, entrepreneurs, early stage companies and emerging companies with their U.S and International intellectual property strategy, protection, enforcement, and monetization. David is a frequent speaker and author on intellectual property issues surrounding emerging technologies (cannabis, cryptocurrency, 3d printing, gig economy), raising capital, business formation, licensing, and reward and equity-based crowdfunding. David is also a Professor at Temple University and Parsons School of Design where he teaches master level students about IP, ethics and other regulatory considerations in starting business ventures and products around design. David is the current Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Officer of the American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law and the founder of their International Action Group and editor of their monthly newsletter.

I have lived the serious mistake of not investing to trademark an idea and understand that sometimes it can be tough to invest in legal services for things like trademarks. But if you’re putting the time and energy into your intellectual property in order to be of service to others, it’s absolutely something that you need to do. So listen in and start putting aside the funds for these essential expenditures now, because it could cost you a lot more in the future if you don’t look after your intellectual property the right way. 

Highlights from this Episode:

  • The biggest issues around intellectual property that David sees people facing [3:45]
  • What he means when he says we live in a “first to file jurisdiction” and why it’s important to trademark your ideas even if you aren’t planning to do anything with them right away [8:35]
  • What to consider before spending money to trademark your idea or invention [11:15]
  • What can and can’t be trademarked and how to decide on a company or product name when most seem to be already taken [15:08]
  • Why the trademark office was set up and what it wants to ensure that every brand has [18:30]
  • What a “suggestive mark” is and the benefits of using one in your business [19:48]
  • David’s thoughts on whether or not you should use your personal name for your company [22:58]
  • What he considers to be his ultimate duty and responsibility to his clients, and a recent situation where someone came to him too late to begin the trademark process [27:02]
  • How logos can be used to overcome potential trademark issues [30:20]
  • What percentage of people see potential legal issues and proceed anyway, and the potentially harmful ramifications of doing this [31:52]

For More Information:





Resources Mentioned:

David’s Book, IP Strategies for Medical Device Technologies: Be Your Own Incubator

United States Patent and Trademark Office Database

Kathy’s TEDx Talk, Time to Brave Up 

Jacklyn Greenberg, Jags Studios


“I think people don’t even understand the value of what they have and what they’ve created.” [3:52]

“Make no mistake about it. If you want ownership of any kind in the United States or any country on the hundreds of ideas you’re creating, you must take the affirmative step to begin trademarking.” [13:02]

“The trademark office was set up because they want to ensure that every brand has a distinctive character.” [18:30]

“If a consumer has to start asking questions about the suggestive mark, that is a good type of trademark.” [20:31]

“At the end of the day, our duty is to convince the trademark office that our clients’ marks are not confusingly similar to someone else’s.” [27:02]

“It’s so important to understand that the value of what you create should supersede the monetary price tag you give to it.” [34:59]

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