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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
First: Thanks to Rodney for the great site and all the knowledgeable posters here! The answers are all here...you just have to know how to listen and search.

Second: This is the short version believe it or not. Our failures could fill a suitcase. For the tl;dr folks who have ADHD: Apologies, but its worth the read.

My two partners and I decided to start a clothing line named xraylibra and completely failed at it. We bought the equipment for 10k and printed our own shirts. We stuck to one and two color prints using a riley hopkins with water-based inks. On our limited budget, advertising was not an option, nor was CMYK, nor an automatic dryer or a studio to fit it into. We started out sponsoring local festivals and sold our goods wherever we could get a table. Our brand was starting to build with a positive review on iamthetrend and several other sites. We had a good social media presence on twitter. Our bills were about 150 a month for the press payment, big cartel, and paypal.
By now we were in a trademark review status and looking forward to the day we could use the mark. BAM!! "Your trademark is denied." It seems xrayclothing was a brand that existed and is sold at The Buckle and other retailers (Not indie graphic tees, but it didn't matter). We were deemed ineligible since you cannot just add a name to an existing brand even if you never knew the other brand existed. The USPTO pointed out a coca-cola case from the 60's. With one letter and one appeal, we realized our brand was pointless to go forward with.
Going forward with a new brand, we will not be printing our own shirts and will leave it to the established print shops. They offer the four color process which we did not have the ability to produce. Also, we will be paying the extra fee of about 150 dollars to apply for a mark not yet used in commerce. We don't want to get to the end of the process and realize it was another 20k spent down the tubes.
I still love printing and will only seek to get better at it. This is the only trade I ever loved. I have learned so much about my own strengths and weaknesses through the countless failures and successes of printing shirts. We are positive about it, yet realistic now. On limited resources, you will be very hampered. On the bright side at least we only spent 20k. If we would have had access to 100k we would have blown that too! :)
 

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What about Xray-Libra? Or EXRAY-LIBRA or something? Or simply change the brand and just post info "Formerly Xraylibra" New Name, Same Great Apparel. Just like food products do etc.

I know you can figure out a way to keep it alive, Does Legal zoom have a satisfaction guarantee or something maybe you could get your monies back or some legal advice from them? Just a thought.

Id hate to see your brand killed over this could you contact the Xray brand and try to workout something with them maybe they could grant approval or something?

I hope you can figure something out and best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the suggestion about using the formerly know as xraylibra. It was a good project for us. We are definitely going to do a new brand and that would be cool to put somewhere on the new site. This time, we have way more time than money and we are probably not launching the brand before the mark is secured. It can take a year or more, but I think it is worth the wait to do it right.
 
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