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John Martin Hilla

John Martin Hilla

Detroit-Area Trademark Registration and Bankruptcy Attorney
  • Bankruptcy, Trademarks, Real Estate Law
  • Michigan
Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&ASocial Media

John Hilla is a Detroit-area trademark and bankruptcy with the firm of Swistak Levine, PC. A graduate of the Wayne State University Law School in Detroit, he also holds a Master's degree in International Law from the George Washington University Law School in Washington, DC.

Practice Areas
  • Bankruptcy
  • Trademarks
  • Real Estate Law
  • Free Consultation
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
  • English: Spoken, Written
  • Turkish: Spoken
Professional Experience
Swistak Levine, PC
- Current
Bankruptcy, Trademark, and Real Estate Practice
Managing Attorney
The Hilla Law Firm, PLLC
Consumer bankruptcy and trademark registration practice.
Aronoff & Linnell, PLLC
The Law Offices of John M. Hilla, PLLC
The George Washington University Law School
LL.M | International & Comparative Law
Wayne State University Law School
J.D | Law
Wayne State University
B.A | English
Professional Associations
Michigan State Bar # 69128
Consumer Bankruptcy Association
- Current
National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
- Current
Articles & Publications
Am I Responsible for my Fiancee's Debt After Marriage?
The Detroit Legal News
The Literary Effect of Sovereignty in International Law
The Widener Law Review
The US Invasion of Iraq and Popular Consent in the Formation of Customary International Law
The Michigan International Lawyer
Draft Commentary for Art. 479 of the Provisional Kosovo Criminal Procedure Code
US State Department in conjunction with George Washington University
Websites & Blogs
Detroit Bankruptcy Attorney
Detroit Bankruptcy and Trademark Blog
Legal Answers
30 Questions Answered

Q. Do I need a bankruptcy lawyer?
A: If you're wondering about this, the answer is that you should speak with a bankruptcy attorney. Most offer free initial consultations, and it won't cost you anything but an hour or two of your time to get good information about whether you should file a bankruptcy or not. Filing a bankruptcy without an attorney is fraught with perils that the non-attorney layperson would know nothing about. If you don't know what a "bankruptcy estate" is, if you're not sure how to exempt your individual retirement annuity, if you don't know what I mean by "exempt," if you think you should pay back your grandmother that $1,000 you owe her before you file, if you think it's OK to transfer your car to your cousin before filing, you should talk to an attorney. If you're thinking of filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you should definitely talk to an attorney. Look for a good attorney in your local area or ask friends and family-members if they can recommend someone with whom you might speak.
Q. I spoke to a lawyer about qualifying for bankruptcy and she said we made too much to try back in a couple of months when
A: You need to re-discuss your bankruptcy eligibility questions and options with the same lawyer or a different bankruptcy lawyer in your geographic area. It is important to remember that virtually everyone "qualifies" for one type of bankruptcy or another (Ch 7 vs 13 vs individual 11, etc.). It sounds like you and the lawyer discussed Chapter 7 only. Chapter 13 in particular is always available if you have income flowing in. The impact of a new vehicle purchase upon a subsequent Chapter 7 or 13 filing is something you need to discuss in private with a bankruptcy attorney, preferably before you trade in the other vehicle or purchase or lease a new one, to enable the attorney to give you good, proactive advice.
Q. I was in a car wreck that totaled my car so I converted to CH 7 bankruptcy from 13 will I get any of the settlement?
A: You should discuss this privately with your bankruptcy attorney. If you don't have one, you might want to seek the counsel of one in your local area as soon as possible.
Q. If one spouse filed chapter 13 is there a way for the other to keep their tax return if filing jointly?
A: This is a question that may be a matter of local practice. You'll want to consult a bankruptcy attorney in your geographic area. Where I practice, in Detroit, a non-filing spouse filing a tax return jointly with a filing Chapter 13 debtor will be allowed to retain their 50% of the joint refund. But mileage may differ in your part of Missouri.
Q. How can I use my registered trademark?
A: You should speak with a trademark attorney in private consultation. A trademark protects consumers from confusion as to the source and quality of a product or service, and trademarks are registered, therefore, for that purpose. In other words, it's your use of the trademark in interstate commerce to identify the manufacturer and source of a particular service or product that you are protecting, not the "logo" itself as a design. That's the province of copyright law, not trademark. Multiple different products would require multiple classes, which will cost you in terms of your registration application fees, potentially quite significantly given the various things you're considering. What a proper "specimen" is and isn't is also something that a trademark attorney will discuss with you. (You must include "specimens" of your mark's usage in interstate commerce with your application.) A t-shirt with a logo printed on it is not a proper specimen, for example. You need your mark on the hang-tag of the apparel item. The shirt is the product that the mark is identifying, in other words, not the logo itself for its own sake.
Q. How long does it take for a trademark to expire?
A: It never expires so long as it remains in use in interstate commerce (presuming we are talking about a Federally registered trademark). Once a trademark is registered, you are required to file a Statement of Use and ongoing Renewals every 10 years to maintain the trademark. You must police new marks registered and new applications filed to ensure that your mark is not weakened by encroaching marks from other registrants, and so on. Retention of a good trademark attorney is essential to maintaining a trademark in good standing, in other words, so that you can concentrate on running your business.
Q. Can a trademark name be the same but registered in different classes by another company using the same exact trademark?
A: Yes. The issue is whether consumers will be likely to be confused by the same name. If they are totally different products sold in totally different geographic regions in totally different channels of trade, there could be no likelihood of confusion, and the separate trademarks might be so registered. However, this is a very fact-specific consideration, and, if you are planning on using a brand that has already been trademarked, you should consult a trademark attorney to discuss your plans.
Q. Can I register “Pikapool” word for conpany trademark?
A: You should discuss with a trademark attorney. A trademark attorney will, as the first step of the service provided, conduct a thorough search of the Federal trademark register, state registers, domain names in use, and other common law usages of the term to find out if anyone is already using that term in commerce. The attorney will then inform you of the risk (or lack thereof, if you're lucky) involved in filing a trademark application for that term and discuss with you the optimal timing of an application and whether to file the application as an "intent to use" or "already in use," depending on whether you are already providing a good or service with that term attached to customers in interstate commerce. Generally speaking, "nonsense" words provide the strongest trademark protection because they will not have been diluted by common usage and are less likely to have been already trademarked in full or in part by another registrant.
Q. vihicle surrendered in chap. 7 can I create debt for vihicle within the 2 month period after trustee meeting
A: It's not quite clear what you're asking. Are you asking whether you can buy a new car within 2 months of your 341 Meeting of Creditors? The first response is always that you should pose this question to the attorney that you hired to assist you with your bankruptcy case. I presume you have one if you have already filed. If you have filed without an attorney, I recommend you consult with a bankruptcy attorney in your local area to discuss the issue, if any will discuss it with you. There is generally no prohibition on incurring new debt after the filing date of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but, depending on where or how you are getting the money for the new vehicle, there could be an issue with the need to preserve the assets of your bankruptcy estate until the Chapter 7 Trustee has formally abandoned interest in those assets, as well as other issues you should discuss with your attorney.
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Contact & Map
Swistak Levine, PC
30833 Northwestern Highway
Suite 120
Farmington Hills, MI 48334
Telephone: (248) 851-8000
Fax: (248) 851-4620