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John Martin Hilla

John Martin Hilla

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

John Hilla is a Detroit-area trademark and bankruptcy attorney.

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.

John is a former music publisher, musician, and author who especially enjoys assisting bands, musicians, record labels, and related start-ups with their trademark and contractual needs.

Practice Areas
  • Bankruptcy
  • Trademarks
  • Real Estate Law
  • Free Consultation
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
Law Society of Ontario
ID Number: 78008N
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  • English: Spoken, Written
  • Turkish: Spoken
Professional Experience
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
The George Washington University Law School Logo
Wayne State University Law School
J.D | Law
Wayne State University Law School Logo
Wayne State University
B.A | English
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Professional Associations
Michigan State Bar # 69128
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Consumer Bankruptcy Association
- Current
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National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
- Current
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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
53 Questions Answered

Q. how can I reinstate a trademark that was abandoned?
A: Presuming the mark is yours and that you're not trying to "reinstate" someone else's abandoned mark, if the mark was abandoned for failure to respond to a USPTO Office Action, you can file a petition to revive. If the mark was abandoned due to USPTO error, you can file a request for reinstatement. If the mark was abandoned due to your failure to file a Statement of Use and the failure was unintentional, you can also file a petition to revive. And so on. If these petitions or requests are denied, then you need to file a new application. I would also be happy to assist. .
Q. Can I trademark my blog name if someone else recently started using it for their brand. It is not registered by either
A: The US is a "first to use" jurisdiction in terms of trademark registration and not a "first to register" jurisdiction. If you were first to use the name and the first to apply to register the name, potentially, you should speak with a trademark registration lawyer--and I'd be happy to do so--regarding filing your application ASAP. The trick with registering a blog name is the question of the product or service the blog-name identifies to consumers. Trademark protection is not like copyright protection that way: it doesn't protect your "artistic work" but, rather, consumers' right to know what they are buying & from whom. If your blog is just some level of online diary and you are not selling anything--it may not be registrable. But speak with an attorney. Many, such as myself, offer free consultations to clients nationally and via telephone or Skype, etc.
Q. Hello If I’m looking to trademark the term Grind In Silence would I be able to do this for my t shirt company?
A: If "Grind in Silence" is the name of company producing the t-shirt products which you wish consumers to associate with that term/name, you can contact a trademark attorney to discuss running a full clearance search prior to filing a an application for trademark application with the US Patent & Trademark Office. If the term is not infringing on any other trademark or business usage, your attorney can prepare, file, and prosecute your trademark application for that term. It is, however, important to keep in mind that trademark protection doesn't protect your "expression" as copyright does: it protects consumers and their right to a guarantee that a product or service originates with a specific source. That is, Coca Cola's trademark of that name ensures that, when you buy a bottle of soda, you are getting the product of the Coca Cola corporation, and not some knock-off. So, if your product is t-shirts, a trademark registration ensures that, when a consumer purchases a "Grind in Silence" t-shirt, it comes from you and not from Fruit of the Loom. You cannot, however, simply print "Grind in Silence" ON a Fruit of the Loom white t-shirt and trademark that. Your name needs to be on the hang-tag of the shirt, not Fruit of the Loom, etc.
Q. When should you get your brand and or logo trademark?
A: Ideally, you should conceive your company name and related logo or design in the planning stages of your business or venture, before you have invested too much capital in the idea. If you've done that, you can consult with a trademark attorney as to the registrability of the proposed mark, possible issues that a knowledgeable attorney can divine straight out of the gate, and proceed to engage the attorney to conduct a thorough clearance search of possible competing marks or potential sources of infringement allegations. If, having taken those steps, you determine that the mark is not worth investing in, you still have the ability to re-conceive and re-brand, and continue forward with something that will be registrable with the USPTO. You can, along the way, discuss with your trademark attorney in a private consultation whether it is best to file an "intent to use" trademark applicable before you have actually launched your business or whether you might want to wait until it is "in use" (in interstate commerce) before applying. Most attorneys offer free consultations, and trademark representation is not restricted to a local geographic area, as it is a Federal practice.
Q. I need to add a trademark for my business an amazon store, Need only one trademark number how much and how long thank u
A: Legal services are not one-price-fits-all situation, but, as noted by my colleague who has already answered, $1000-$1500 in single-application, single international class cases is not unusual. Much depends on your business, your proposed trademark, whether you are interested in protecting your name/words alone or a logo or design, or both. A pre-filing clearance search conducted by a knowledgeable trademark attorney to ensure you are not infringing anyone else's registered mark, or that the mark is not in use in commerce in any other form is advisable. I would recommend that the full registration process, once an application is filed, can take as long as a year. Start by contacting an attorney to discuss your particular mark and your particular options in a private consultation.
Q. How much does a trademark cost? Is there an annual fee?
A: Ookla the Mok say, "Doesn't mean character not in use commercially or protected by US copyright law." It is always best to create an original brand name, tag-line, or logo.
Q. TM search & no results, google search showed 2 others with Instagram accts w/ same name
A: Respectfully, you seem to be seeking the assurance of an attorney that your proposed trademark is "safe" for purposes of a trademark registration application without actually hiring or paying for an attorney--and without disclosing what that proposed mark actually is. You are not going to obtain the legal opinion of a trademark practitioner by asking a question like that on a site like this. Before filing any trademark application, it is advisable that you retain a knowledgeable trademark attorney to conduct for you a proper and full clearance search for opposing, prior, or competing potential uses of your term, searching not only the Federal register and domain name and other internet or commercial uses but also state trademark registers and other sources. An attorney conducting this search for you will review the much more vast results that a proper search provides, analyze the risk of failure in filing an application for the trademark registration of your proposed term, and provide you an opinion letter weighing that risk so that you can make a risk-based decision to file or not to file your application. It is encouraging that the results you have located yourself evidence more recent use than your own as, in the U.S., trademark registration is granted on a "first in use (in interstate commerce" rather than "first to file" (an application). However, a proper search surely needs to be conducted. I would recommend you retain a knowledgeable trademark registration attorney to assist you. Slowing down a bit and doing this properly will save you months and months of time if your application finds opposition that could have been avoided from the outset, not to mention filing fees. Most trademark attorneys practice nationally, as I do, and offer free consultations, often by phone or video, for clients located outside of their specific geographic areas. Good luck.
Q. Can I withdraw from a partnership LLC but keep trademarks? Moving from CA to AZ.
A: If the application(s) for the trademarks' registration filed with the USPTO lists the LLC as owner, the LLC remains the owner regardless of your LLC's status, dissolved or otherwise. The LLC will need to transfer ownership to you or your new entity. You should consult a California business attorney regarding your ability to transfer corporate assets without the other member's participation. A trademark attorney can assist with the work required on the USPTO end.
Q. Can I use a word that is part of a trademarked phrase for my artist name when I release music?
A: Your best bet is to come up with a name or brand this is totally unique and original. However, you should discuss your proposed trademark with a knowledgeable trademark attorney. Most trademark attorneys practice nationally, so you should feel free to discuss your artist name with an attorney regardless of location. Most offer free consultations, and, some, like myself, offer them telephonically.
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Contact & Map
The Hilla Law Firm, PLLC
19500 Middlebelt Road
Suite 223E
Livonia, MI 48152
Telephone: (734) 743-1489