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Trademark Attorney Working With Clients in Arlington, TX

If you're an entrepreneur, you know that protecting your intellectual property should be high on your list when it comes to safeguarding your company. However, as a successful business owner, you also know the steps and costs of filing a trademark in the U.S. can be expensive and arduous.

This conundrum can be even more overwhelming for new business owners who want to do everything possible to minimize the price of securing trademarks. They try to handle complicated tasks like trademark registration on their own, which can be a big mistake - especially when juggling the day-to-day tasks of running a business. You may be thinking, "But what about those set-it-and-forget-it services you can find online? All you have to do is plug in your info, and you're done." Using pre-made templates for trademark filing can be tempting, but doing so can leave you with inadequate protection and hurt you in the long run.

So, what is the easiest, most cost-effective route to consider that also minimizes legal risk? The truth is, before you spend money on an online filing service, it's best to consult with a trademark attorney working with clients in Arlington, TX.

At Sausser Summers, PC, our experienced trademark attorneys can help you understand the trademark process step by step. We can even help with U.S. trademark filing, U.S. trademark responses, and U.S. trademark renewals at a price you can actually afford. That way, you can make an informed decision regarding your business without having to break the bank.


Sausser Summers, PC: Simplifying the U.S. Trademark Process

Hiring an attorney can be a daunting task, but at Sausser Summers, PC, our goal is to make the process as simple and seamless as possible for you. That's why we offer a straightforward checkout service. First, you choose your flat fee trademark service and fill out a short questionnaire. Then, we will contact you within 24 hours to discuss the details of our service. From there, one of our experienced trademark attorneys will get to work on your behalf.

Using a trademark attorney for filing in Arlington, TX, can significantly increase your chances of a successful registration. The U.S. government recommends hiring a trademark attorney to help with your application, and our team of trademark lawyers is dedicated to meeting your needs. In fact, we help ensure your application is filed correctly the first time so you can get on with your life and avoid legal risks.

At Sausser Summers, PC, we work closely with our clients to understand their needs and provide them with sound professional advice. We never offer incomplete services, such as simply filing for registration, because that would leave you open to legal risks. You can rely on us to handle your intellectual property matters, and our flat fee services can help protect your business in a simple, straightforward, and affordable way. It's really that simple.

In terms of filing a U.S. trademark, we provide an easy three-step process to protect your intellectual property:

1. You provide your trademark info to our team via an online form.

2. Our team performs a comprehensive trademark search. This search ensures that no other marks will prevent you from registering your trademark in the U.S. Once performed, we'll send you a legal opinion letter that details our findings.

3. Sausser Summers, PC, files your U.S. trademark application. We are then listed as your Attorney of Record on file. From there, we'll provide ongoing updates regarding the status of your trademark as it works through the registration process.

The bottom line? At Sausser Summers, PC, we give both new and seasoned business owners an easy, efficient, cost-effective way to protect the one asset that sets them apart from others: their name.

Online Trademark Attorney Arlington, TX
The bottom line?

At Sausser Summers, PC, we give both new and seasoned business owners an easy, efficient, cost-effective way to protect the one asset that sets them apart from others: their name.

Do I Really Need a Trademark Attorney for Protecting My Business in Arlington, TX?

It's not necessary to be a lawyer in order to apply for a trademark. Anyone can submit a trademark application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). However, registering a trademark involves more than just filling out a form. It's essential to conduct thorough research, accurately identify and clearly explain your trademark to ensure it receives adequate protection. And even after securing a trademark, you've got to monitor it consistently to make sure it's free from infringement.

The big takeaway here is that it's always a good idea to work with a trademark attorney to protect the intellectual property that you've worked so hard to establish. According to the Wall Street Journal, applicants are approximately 50% more likely to secure their trademark than people who file applications on their own. If your trademark application is rejected by the USPTO, you will need to revise and refile it, incurring additional filing fees. To avoid delays and extra costs, it is best to have a trademark lawyer help you get it right the first time.

Additional Benefits of Using a Trademark Attorney

Great trademark attorneys (like those you'll find at Sausser Summers, PC) will help with every step of filing and enforcing your trademark. Some additional benefits include the following:

Check to see if your proposed trademark is registered by another entity.

Conduct research to see if another business is using the trademark for which you're applying.

Provide advice and guidance on the strength of your trademark.

Draft and submit your trademark applications and application revisions.

Advice and guidance regarding trademark maintenance and protection.

Monitor the market for unauthorized use of your trademark.

Trademark enforcement to protect you against infringement.

 Online Trademark Lawyer Arlington, TX

Curious whether our trademark attorney services are right for you and your business? Contact Sausser Summer, PC, today. Let's talk about what you need, and how we can help.

What About Online Filing Services?

Online services, can provide you with basic assistance in filing your trademark. However, they will never be a legitimate substitute for an experienced trademark attorney helping clients in Arlington, TX.

 Trademark Attorney Arlington, TX

Although online filing services offer a step-by-step process, they take a one-size-fits-all approach to preparing legal documents. Even their advanced service only provides basic attorney assistance in completing your paperwork and helping with minor roadblocks. Online filing services' disclaimer highlights the many limitations of its services, including the fact that communications are not protected by attorney-client privilege. In addition, online filing services cannot provide advice, explanations, opinions, recommendations, or any kind of legal guidance on possible legal rights, remedies, defenses, options, selection of forms or strategies.

In other words, online filing services can offer you the necessary forms and point you in the right direction, but they cannot customize their services to your specific needs or help you with serious complications that may arise.

For the most comprehensive trademark service and protection, it's always wise to work with highly rated trademark lawyers, like you'll find at Sausser Summers, PC.

Understanding Trademarks Over Time

Trademarks in the U.S. can last indefinitely, but did you know that clients in Arlington, TX can file a trademark online, only to lose protection in some circumstances? Trademarks differ from patents and copyrights in that they do not have an expiration date. However, to prevent the cancellation of a trademark, you must maintain it. To ensure that your trademark remains protected, you must actively use it in commerce and renew it with the USPTO every ten years.

The Lanham Act tells us that "use in commerce" is the legitimate use of a trademark in the ordinary course of trade. In other words, you cannot register a trademark solely to reserve the rights to it in the future. In most cases, a trademark must be used continuously in connection with the goods or services it is registered for.

 Trademark Law Firm Arlington, TX

Steps to Renew Your Trademark

Trademarks are registered with the USPTO and generally need to be renewed every ten years. However, there is one crucial exception that you should be aware of. Within the first ten years of owning a trademark, you must file for renewal between the fifth and sixth year from the date of your initial registration.

During this renewal period, you are required to submit a Section 8 declaration, a specimen that shows how the mark is being used, and pay the required fee. You can also apply for Section 15 Incontestability status, which can strengthen your trademark rights. This application, although not mandatory, can make it harder for others to challenge your ownership of the mark.

After the first renewal, which falls between the fifth and sixth year of ownership, the next renewal filing is due between the ninth and tenth year, and then every tenth year thereafter. In the ninth year you will need to file a Section 8 declaration, attesting to your use of the mark or excusable nonuse. You've also got to file a Section 9 renewal application before the end of the tenth year to keep your registration active.

It is worth noting that the USPTO provides a six-month grace period if you fail to renew your mark within the required time frame, but it is best not to rely on it. If you don't file within the grace period time limits, the USPTO will cancel and expire your mark.

By hiring trademark attorneys helping clients in Arlington, TX, you can avoid the pitfalls and mistakes that can arise and cause you to lose your rights to the mark that represents it.

Losing Your Trademark Rights Through Abandonment

In the event that you stop using your trademark and have no plans to resume using it in commerce, it may be considered abandoned by the USPTO. This could result in the loss of your protective rights to the mark. Typically, a trademark is assumed to be abandoned if it has not been used for three years. However, you may be able to refute this presumption by providing evidence that you intend to use the mark again in the future.

Losing Your Trademark Rights Through Inappropriate Licensing

In addition to trademark abandonment, you should also be wary of improper licensing. It's important to remember that once you allow someone else to use your trademark, you must keep an eye on how they use it. You should monitor the products or services that feature your trademark to ensure that they meet consumers' expectations in terms of quality. Failure to do so can lead to a "naked" trademark license and the loss of your protective trademark rights.

How to Avoid Having to Refile Your Trademark

If you're wondering how you can avoid refiling your trademark, the answer is simple: file it correctly the first time around. Filing a trademark isn't inherently difficult, but when doing so, it's very important that certain aspects are filled out accurately in your application. If any information is missing or incorrect, the trademark application may be considered "void ab initio" or void from the beginning, requiring you to file again.

To avoid this, make sure that the information you provide in the application is accurate and complete, including the ownership of the trademark. For instance, if a corporation has multiple shareholders, it should not file under the President's personal name. The rightful owner should be the one/entity that ultimately controls the trademark and the associated goods/services.

It is also important to ensure that the goods and/or services description is precise. For example, if you sell electronic products, you should not file for research and development services despite having a research and development department. The goods/services description should reflect the goods/services you offer to customers, not the departments within your business.

Additionally, providing accurate dates of first use when filing for a trademark is crucial. The USPTO requires two dates to be specified - the date of first use anywhere and the date of first use in interstate commerce. Contact our trademark law office today to learn more about having accurate dates on your filing paperwork.

 Trademark Lawyer Arlington, TX
 Trademark Firm Arlington, TX

What Makes an Online Trademark Attorney Great?

At Sausser Summers, PC, we often get questions about how to distinguish run-of-the-mill consultants and others from great trademark attorneys. After all - when you're looking for an attorney to file or prosecute your business trademark, you should know their qualifications. Here are three ways you can separate the proverbial wheat from the chaff when it comes to trademark attorneys.

It's crucial to seek legal advice from a licensed trademark lawyer rather than relying on advice from non-professionals like trademark consultants. The USPTO even recommends hiring an attorney to help with the trademark process. Although trademark consultants may provide advice on trademark availability or name marketability, they cannot file the trademark for you or offer legal advice. According to the Rules of Practicing in trademark cases, "Individuals who are not attorneys are not recognized to practice before the Office in trademark matters." This rule applies to individuals who assist trademark applicants.

When searching for a trademark attorney, it's important to find someone with a strong background in trademark law. Look for an attorney who specializes in this area and has significant experience handling trademark-related cases. Avoid lawyers who don't have expertise in this field, as they may not be able to provide the guidance and support you need.

Ensure your attorney provides updates throughout the trademark registration process to avoid missing deadlines, including responding to any Office actions within six months. Failure to do so can result in trademark abandonment. The USPTO will only correspond with the listed attorney of record, so make sure your attorney keeps you informed.

In summary:

  • Be sure you're using a licensed trademark attorney helping clients in Arlington, TX.
  • It's best to work with a trademark lawyer who has years of experience filing trademarks.
  • Ensure that your trademark lawyer is willing to provide ongoing notifications relating to your trademark application process.
 Trademark Registration Lawyer Arlington, TX

Trademark Attorneys Working Hard for You

Building your brand and gaining recognition for it is a significant achievement, and it's important to protect it. However, there are certain pitfalls and mistakes that can arise, causing you to lose your rights to the mark that represents it. By working with knowledgeable trademark attorneys, you can avoid these issues and file your trademark successfully.

With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Sausser Summers, PC, offers comprehensive guidance, strategic advice, and reliable representation for a variety of trademark matters. Our attorneys have years of real-world experience and, having registered countless trademarks with the USPTO, provide our clients with individualized representation when they need it most.

If you're looking for skilled, adept, and experienced counsel, look no further than our trademark law firm. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation and learn how we can help you safeguard your brand.

Latest News in Arlington, TX

WNBA draft: Jacy Sheldon selected 5th overall, Celeste Taylor 15th from Ohio State

Two Ohio State players heard their names called during the 2024 WNBA draft on Monday.With the fifth pick, the Dallas Wings selected Buckeyes guard Jacy Sheldon. Ten picks later, the Indiana Fever took Celeste Taylor in the second round.Sheldon is the highest pick from Ohio State since Kelsey Mitchell, the No. 2 pick in 2018. A graduate of Dublin Coffman, Sheldon is also the first player from her high school to be drafted into the WNBA."It's a dream," Sheldon said. "It's what we're all here f...

Two Ohio State players heard their names called during the 2024 WNBA draft on Monday.

With the fifth pick, the Dallas Wings selected Buckeyes guard Jacy Sheldon. Ten picks later, the Indiana Fever took Celeste Taylor in the second round.

Sheldon is the highest pick from Ohio State since Kelsey Mitchell, the No. 2 pick in 2018. A graduate of Dublin Coffman, Sheldon is also the first player from her high school to be drafted into the WNBA.

"It's a dream," Sheldon said. "It's what we're all here for and it's what we're all looking forward to. So, I'm excited. I've seen the growth and to be a part of that is something that is really rare."

During Sheldon's five seasons with the Buckeyes, the 5-foot-10 guard scored 2,024 points and is sixth on Ohio State's all-time leading scoring list. Sheldon also ranks top 10 in program history for field goals, 3-pointers and steals.

Averaging a team-high 17.8 points and recording 20 points or more in 13 games this season, Sheldon helped lead the Buckeyes to their first outright Big Ten regular-season title in over a decade.

Wings president and CEO Greg Bibb said that the organization has kept a close eye on Sheldon since the first game of the 2023-24 season, with her originally landing on the team's radar during her senior year, though she decided to return to Ohio State for a fifth and final year.

"She gets at it defensively," Bibb said. "Some of the best hands I've seen defensively in terms of being active. Playing at Ohio State, she's great in the full-court press that they utilize there. ... You know, physicality, like most college players it's an adjustment, it's going to be an adjustment for her too."

Taylor, who transferred from Duke to Ohio State during the offseason last year, also played a key role for the Buckeyes. Leading the team in both steals and blocks, Taylor was named co-Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, making her a two-time conference DPOY winner.

On multiple occasions throughout her one season with Ohio State, Taylor spoke about how it was a difficult decision to forgo the draft and use her final year of eligibility to play with the Buckeyes.

"I would never trade the decision that I made to go to Ohio State," Taylor said. "I think that it has brought me so much peace in who I have become as a player and the impact that I can make in any program that I choose or organization that I have the opportunity to be a part of."

This marks the second straight year that Ohio State has had a player selected in the draft. Last year, Taylor Mikesell was picked by Fever in the second round with the No. 13 pick overall.

Celeste Taylor and Caitlin Clark join Kelsey Mitchell in Indiana

Before the Fever took Taylor with its second pick in the draft, they had the No. 1 selection and used it on the NCAA's all-time leading scorer, Caitlin Clark of Iowa.

Clark and Taylor have a history of sharing the court that goes beyond their time as Big Ten rivals who matched up twice in the 2023-24 season. The two were teammates with Team USA in the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup.

"Just having the opportunity to play with her again," Taylor said, "it's going to be amazing. And she's done so much for the women's game, and I know she has so much more to give to everyone."

Mitchell, whom Clark bumped to third on the all-time NCAA women's scoring list, has become a main component on Indiana's roster.

Though Taylor only had the chance to meet the former Buckeye on her official visit to Ohio State back in high school, she is looking forward to playing with Mitchell but knows the first step to doing so is making the Fever's roster.

Dallas Wings Announce 2024 Draft Selections

Arlington, TX (April 15, 2024) – The Dallas Wings made a trio of selections on Monday night during the 2024 WNBA Draft, which aired live on ESPN from the Brooklyn Academy of Music in Brooklyn, N.Y. The Wings selected Jacy Sheldon out of Ohio State with the fifth overall selection, Carla Leite from France with the ninth overall pick, and Ashley Owusu of Penn State with the 33rd overall selection.Sheldon is a 5-10 guard from Dublin, Ohio. The All-American spent five seasons at The Ohio State University, averaging 17.8 points, 3.2 ...

Arlington, TX (April 15, 2024) – The Dallas Wings made a trio of selections on Monday night during the 2024 WNBA Draft, which aired live on ESPN from the Brooklyn Academy of Music in Brooklyn, N.Y. The Wings selected Jacy Sheldon out of Ohio State with the fifth overall selection, Carla Leite from France with the ninth overall pick, and Ashley Owusu of Penn State with the 33rd overall selection.

Sheldon is a 5-10 guard from Dublin, Ohio. The All-American spent five seasons at The Ohio State University, averaging 17.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game in 2023-24. This past season, Sheldon ranked in the top-10 in the Big Ten in five categories – third in scoring (17.8), fourth in steals/game (1.9), fourth in free throw percentage (.858), sixth in field goal percentage (.505) and 10th in assist/turnover ratio (1.6). She ranks sixth in Ohio State history with 2,024 career points and is in the top-14 in nine additional categories. Sheldon is one of three players in program history with 1,900 points, 400 rebounds, 350 assists, 200 steals and 150 made three-pointers.

Sheldon was named to the AP All-American Second Team, USBWA All-America Third Team and The Sports News Women’s All-America Second Team. She earned All-Big Ten First Team honors from both the coaches (unanimous) and media in 2023-24, also being tabbed as Ohio State’s sportsmanship award winner and a media choice for All-Big Ten Defensive Team. Sheldon was one of five finalists for the Nancy Lieberman Award after being named to the preseason watch list and midseason top-10. In 2023-24, she was named to the preseason and midseason watch lists and was one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Trophy. Sheldon also was featured on the preseason, midseason and late season watchlists for the Wooden Award and the watchlist for the Ann Meyers Drysdale USBWA National Player of the Year award.

Leite is a 5-11 guard who plays for Tarbes Gespe Bigorre in the Ligue Féminine de Basketball (LFB) in France. Over 19 games this season, Leite has averaged 15.6 points, 5.5 assists and .464 shooting from the field. She has scored in double figures in 17 of 19 games this year, while reaching the 20-point mark on four occasions. Leite played for Tarbes GB in 2022-23 as well, averaging 11.8 points, 2.9 assists and .492 shooting.

Leite was a member of France’s U20 National Team in 2023, leading the squad to a Gold Medal in the European Championship after averaging 18.4 points, 4.3 assists, 3.6 rebounds and .462 shooting. She was named the All-FIBA U20 European Championship MVP, was also being tabbed as the Best Guard and named to the First Team.

Owusu is a 6-foot guard from Woodbridge, Va. She spent her graduate season at Penn State in 2023-24, earning All-Big Ten Second Team accolades. Owusu averaged 18 points throughout the regular season and scored in double figures in 13 of her 14 appearances. Including Penn State’s postseason run, Owusu led the Lady Lions in scoring (18.1) and assists (3.8), while shooting .478 from the field and adding 5.6 rebounds per game.

Over 125 career games, Owusu averaged 13.8 points and 4.3 assists, making over 45-percent of her shots from the field. She has amassed 1,726 points and 533 assists. She earned the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award, the highest honor for a shooting guard in the women’s college game, in 2021 while playing at Maryland, garnering All-America accolades from the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USWBA) and Associated Press (AP). While with the Terrapins, Owusu was a three-time All-Big Ten selection, while leading the Terps to a pair of Big Ten Tournament titles.

Press Conference Recording: https://bit.ly/4aQtGr2

Leiter positioned to lead next wave of Rangers arms

This story was excerpted from Kennedi Landry’s Rangers Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.HOUSTON -- The ...

This story was excerpted from Kennedi Landry’s Rangers Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

HOUSTON -- The Rangers farm system has produced a number of elite hitters in recent years, most notably Josh Jung, Evan Carter and Wyatt Langford, all of whom are currently on the big league roster.

But something that has felt true since the beginning of time (or at least when the club arrived in Arlington in 1972) is that the Rangers cannot develop elite starting pitching within their system. Homegrown starter Cody Bradford is off to a hot start in his second big league season with a 1.40 ERA over his first three outings.

But are there more coming?

“I'm excited to see what our coaching and development group does this year with some of our pitchers, especially ones on bounce-back seasons,” Rangers assistant general manager for player development Ross Fenstermaker said during Spring Training.

“I know we've talked about it for a few years now, but it takes a while for these arms to come together. It's a nonlinear path to the big leagues for pitchers and I just have a, I don’t know, call it a gut feeling, that this is going to be the year of the pitcher on the farm. And I'm excited to see these guys break through.”

Chief among them may be Jack Leiter, the Rangers’ first pick in the 2021 MLB Draft at No. 2 overall.

Leiter has had a rocky start to his professional career, including ERAs north of 5.00 in both 2022 and ‘23. But after a month-long stint on the development list last season, the Rangers’ No. 8 prospect made mechanical tweaks that appeared to have positive returns.

He returned from the development list late last season and posted a 3.31 ERA, allowing just four walks while notching 25 strikeouts in his final four starts for Double-A Frisco. He made one start with Triple-A Round Rock at the end of the year before returning to the level in 2024.

The tweaks have seemingly continued to pay off so far, and he’s looked more and more comfortable in each outing, starting in Spring Training and throughout the first month of the Minor League season.

His first start with Triple-A Round Rock this season was pushed back by rehabbing big leaguer Michael Lorenzen, though Leiter ultimately tossed five innings of relief. He struck out nine, while walking just one.

His third and most recent start was the best of them, despite a few hiccups. Leiter tossed six innings, allowing three runs on Friday night. All three runs came on solo homers. While that should be hard to ignore, what’s more important is how the 23-year-old righted the ship shortly thereafter.

After allowing one homer in the first inning and two in the second, he locked down for three scoreless innings on the back end of his outing. He struck out 10 and walked none for his first double-digit strikeout game of the year.

Most importantly, he’s now got 25 strikeouts to just three walks on the season.

“Jack’s done great,” general manager Chris Young said. “He had a great spring and our expectation is if Jack continues to trend the way he has, he will help us out. The best thing for Jack's development is likely to continue the success in Triple-A for a period of time. He's in consideration based on how he's performed to help us at any point should somebody go down or should somebody underperform or he performed to a level that warrants consideration.”

Leiter impressed the big league staff throughout Spring Training, and showed that he could contribute at the big league level. He isn’t a finished product, but this is the best he’s looked in his professional career by far.

He may be in Arlington sooner rather than later.

“You're always evolving,” Leiter told MLB Pipeline. “Hitters are evolving, the game is evolving, everything changes. So it's just about adapting and overcoming. To do that, it all comes back to the process, the routine and what you're doing to prepare yourself. If you do a good job with that, it makes it a lot easier to trust everything else.”

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Other notable pitching lines this week:

Double-A Frisco: RHP Emiliano Teodo (No. 16 prospect) Facing off against rehabbing Astros starter Justin Verlander, Teodo allowed no hits in his brief four-inning outing. He cruised through his first three frames, allowing just one baserunner, though he finished by giving up one run on four walks and no hits. He logged five strikeouts.

Teodo impressed during big league camp this spring, coming off an electric offseason in which he was named the Arizona Fall League Reliever of the Year. He could be in the big league bullpen as soon as 2025, though the Rangers have definitely given up on him as a potential starter.

High-A Hickory: RHP Aidan Curry (No. 19) Final line: 4 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1BB, 7 K The Carolina League Pitcher of the Year with Single-A Down East in 2023, Curry is one of the Rangers' more underrated pitching prospects. He’s looking to build off a solid campaign in Single-A in 2023, when he compiled a 2.30 ERA, .163 opponents' average against and 99 strikeouts in 82 innings (19 appearances).

Single-A Down East: LHP Kohl Drake None of the Rangers’ Top 30 prospects are currently with Single-A Down East, due to the advancement of many of the best pitchers in the system. Drake, an 11th-rounder in the 2022 MLB Draft, made the best start for the Wood Ducks this week, tossing four shutout innings against the Carolina Mudcats. He struck out six while walking just one.

Arlington (Texas) defensive tackle Dilan Battle makes first visit to Los Angeles

Arlington (Texas) defensive tackle Dilan Battle made first trip to Los Angeles this weekend with his family and the Trojans did their best to make a return trip…Arlington (Texas) defensive tackle Dilan Battle made first trip to Los Angeles this weekend with his family and the Trojans did their best to make a return trip imminent....

Arlington (Texas) defensive tackle Dilan Battle made first trip to Los Angeles this weekend with his family and the Trojans did their best to make a return trip…

Arlington (Texas) defensive tackle Dilan Battle made first trip to Los Angeles this weekend with his family and the Trojans did their best to make a return trip imminent.

Battle, who rescheduled his trip for this week, spent Saturday on campus to watch the Trojans' scrimmage.

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USC's NLRB case resumes with momentum tilting against school, NCAA, Pac-12

The university is part of an historic lawsuit in terms of player compensation and developments across the country have put the momentum against USC and its' co-defendants.

R.J. AbeytiaApr 14th, 7:25 PM

USC is part of a lawsuit filed by the National Labor Relations board against the university, the NCAA and the Pac-12. The lawsuit alleges the Trojans, NCAA and their former conference home are de facto employers of the schools' revenue sport (football, men's and women's basketball) student-athletes. A ruling in the NLRB's favor that remained upheld through inevitable appeals would change the college football landscape forever. College football would be identified as the professional league it's been since television revenue swallowed it whole decades ago.

The hearing resumes this week on Tuesday morning (4/16) in Los Angeles. Per the NLRB release, "This is the first complaint and unfair labor practice hearing after the NLRB General Counsel issued her memo in September 2021 with her guidance on employee-status of players at academic institutions."

Abruzzo's memo claimed the following:

"Certain Players at Academic Institutions (sometimes referred to as student athletes), are employees under the National Labor Relations Act, and, as such, are afforded all statutory protections.

The memo further advises that, where appropriate, she will allege that misclassifying such employees as mere "student-athletes" and leading them to believe that they are not entitled to the Act's protection has a chilling effect on Section 7 activity and is an independent violation of Section 8(a)(1) of the Act."

That memo opened the door for the lawsuit USC is now fighting along with the NCAA and the Pac-12 conference. Abruzzo made clear the bottom line in her memo:

"Players at Academic Institutions perform services for institutions in return for compensation and subject to their control. Thus, the broad language of Section 2(3) of the Act, the policies underlying the NLRA, Board law, and the common law fully support the conclusion that certain Players at Academic Institutions are statutory employees, who have the right to act collectively to improve their terms and conditions of employment," Abruzzo added.

USC's trial has included requests for access to coaches' salaries and school revenue from athletics among other data points. The focus of the most recent sessions was the USC Student-Athlete Handbook. The handbook includes a number of guidelines and directives the NLRB considers examples of an employee-employer relationship.

Since this trial began, another development suggested the lean on this issue may be tilting further towards the players.

On March 14, the NLRB's Region 1-Boston Regional Director issued certification and notice it was obligated to bargain on behalf of the Dartmouth men's basketball team. Dartmouth filed a request for review and the wheels across the country are not going to spin any faster than they do in the case of USC's litigation. However, it's another piece of momentum in the wake of the Supreme Court's Alston ruling and the injunction from a federal judge in Tennessee that put the clamps on the NCAA enforcing any of its existing NIL/Collective rules.

We'll have more on USC's case as it unfolds this week. For now, the legal impetus towards football and basketball players attaining employee status remains in the players' favor.

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