Trademark & Business Attorney, Rosezena J. Pierce knew at a very young age that she wanted to be a BOSS. At only 5 years old she knew that she wanted to have a corner office, and she knew she needed to be calling her own shots. The road that would lead to that corner office and her prestigious title wasn’t quite so clear. Fast forward to today, and Pierce is one of the top-ranked trademark attorneys in the country ranking #15, putting her in the top 50, out of over 33,000 trademark mark attorneys in the country, which is beyond amazing for a woman, and a woman of color at that!
Known in social circles as “The Biz Lawyer,” Pierce is the Founder and CEO of RJ Pierce Law Group, a boutique law firm specializing in Trademark Law, where the mission is to help its clients understand the importance of brand and business ownership. Having been in the game for well over ten years, Pierce has helped over 4,000 businesses to protect their brands. She has worked with numerous startups, small businesses, and celebrities. Pierce and her team walk clients and businesses through the entire business branding process while creating an easy-to-understand process for an area of law that can sometimes be a little harsh to understand.
Having built a multi-million dollar brand herself, Pierce practices what she preaches, and does so while also being a single mom to her three beautiful children. With clients spanning across the globe, Rosezena Pierce is continuing her reign as The Queen of Trademark Law.”
Hailing from Chicago’s west side, meet Rosezena J. Pierce!
Give us a little background on the life that led to your career as a trademark attorney.
Well, since the age of five, I always knew that I wanted to be an attorney. I did not really know exactly what I wanted to do until high school when I began to throw around the term “International Business Law,” but I still did not really know what that was. I just knew that I wanted to do something corporate and I wanted to be connected to the marketplace. Later in college, I was introduced to intellectual property law. The adjunct professor, who was a practicing trademark attorney, said to me that I should continue to study trademark law, and offered to write my letter of recommendation. I ended up going on to the John Marshall Law School in Chicago and which ranked as one of the top law schools in the nation for Intellectual Property Law. I had a lot of guidance and support and continued to fall in love with trademark law.
Why do you feel that the presence of attorneys of color is so important in your arena?
Protecting your brand gives you economic power! This gives you control of your brand and what can or cannot be done with it, and this is very important in our community. When we see these big brands in these stores, these are names that were built into brands and they are now global brands. This is something that should be more present in our communities as well. When I go into stores and see the brands that I represent and see my clients on billboards, that is so fulfilling to me.
What are some things that help you to balance motherhood and being a mogul?
I feel like balance is a fictitious word. Even when you look at the scale there really is no balance so what I find works for me is prioritizing. I have three kids and then the third came my last semester of law school. I could have tried finding balance but I decided to prioritize passing the bar and becoming an attorney. I had the support of my kids and my family and they made it easier for me to not feel guilty because I was really creating a future for them. Sometimes we have to not listen to societal norms and what society says about what we should be doing. Sometimes we just have to make arrangements so that the kids and family are taken care of and planning is also a key component of that.
Tell us what a trademark attorney does and why it is so important.
Well, a question that I always ask people is “would you build a house on land that you don’t own?”. To that, the answer is always no, so why would you build a business on a brand that you don’t own? All these big brands that you see, own the brand and they also own the trademarks of those brands. We get confused in thinking that having an LLC means you own the business brand name. As a business owner investing in marketing material and branding, you should want to protect it. Not having these things properly in order can result in being told that you cannot sell your own product or service. On the flip side, someone else can start their venture after yours, and then you may have to spend money to get your own brand rights back. In this case, it is better to be proactive than reactive.
Can you share with us a few trademark tips?
First I say when developing a name, you don’t want to use something too descriptive and also not something that is too generic but you want it to be distinctive so that the brand itself can speak for the name and also makes it harder for someone else to infringe. Secondly, I say do your research. Make sure no one else is utilizing that name within your industry. There are laws that speak to that and can allow you to operate in different industries with the same name. Lastly, file your trademark with the USPTO (the United States Patent and Trademark Office). They are open every day of the year. Once registered, make sure you must have continuous use and registration so that you do not lose it.
Pierce says that she now is focused on taking RJ Pierce Law Group on to become an international brand. With much credit given to her strong faith, she is looking ahead to continuing to help businesses to build their brands and continuing to build a legacy that her family and community can be proud of.
Keep up with “The Biz Lawyer,” Rosezena J. Pierce: @thebizlawyer