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The Basics

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Gerben Law Firm's Trademark Blog


This trademark blog and informational section of the website is meant to provide you with answers to commonly asked questions about trademark searching, filing, and registration.

What is a Dead Trademark?

Question: What is a dead trademark? Answer: In the USPTO’s trademark database, records listed as “DEAD” no longer have any federal trademark registration rights. Here are the three most common reasons that trademark filings become dead: 1. The initial trademark application never matured to registration. When a trademark application does not mature to registration, whether […]

What Can and Cannot be Trademarked?

A trademark is something that represents your brand in the marketplace.  Typically, business or product names, logos, or slogans are registered as trademarks.  Items such as distinct product packaging, colors and sounds may also obtain trademark protection.  The USPTO will not grant registration for generic or descriptive terms or anything that may be confusingly similar […]

How Do I Claim an Abandoned Trademark?

Question: How do you claim an abandoned trademark? Answer: In order to claim an abandoned trademark, you must follow the registration process from the beginning and submit your own application for the trademark. However, it’s important to carefully evaluate the trademark and consider why the last applicant allowed it to abandon. We often see people […]

How Long Does a Trademark Last?

Question: How long does a trademark last? Answer: Once a trademark registration is granted by the USPTO, it will last five years before another filing is required. However, if you shut down your business or stop offering your goods or services before then, the trademark will be considered abandoned from a legal perspective. As a […]

Can You Use a Trademark That Has Been Rejected by the USPTO?

Question: Can you use a trademark that has been rejected by the USPTO? Answer: Yes. If your trademark has been refused by the USPTO, you can still use it in the marketplace. However, if it was refused because the government considered it to be too similar to another mark, then it’s important to study the judgement carefully […]

Is a Logo a Trademark?

Question: Is a logo a trademark? Answer: If your logo is used on product packaging or the top of your website to identify your company or services, it is a trademark that can be protected with a federal trademark registration. It’s important to note that if you want to protect your logo as a trademark, […]

Which Trademark Symbol Should I Use?

Question: Which trademark symbol should you use? Answer: If you have obtained a federal registration for your trademark in the United States, you may use the “circled r” symbol: ® If you have not filed an application fore your trademark, or your trademark is still pending, you should use the small capital letters TM next […]

What are the Economic Benefits of a Registered Trademark?

Trademarks offer not only legal benefits, but economic benefits as well.  The following are economic benefits of trademark registration: A registered trademark protects your investment from infringement. A registered trademark is needed for growth and expansion beyond your region. A registered trademark is a valuable asset that can increase in value over time. A registered […]

What Is the Correct Filing Basis for Your Trademark?

What filing basis should you use in your trademark application? This is one of the most complicated and technical questions in any trademark application. First, you tell the government what trademark you’d like to register, then you answer the question about what goods and services you’re going to be providing under the trademark. After that, […]

Once I File My Trademark Application, Can I Add Additional Goods and Services Later On?

Question: Once I file my trademark application, can I add additional goods and services later on? Answer: No. Once a trademark application is filed, you may no longer add additional classes to it. If you need to protect your trademarks for new product or service offerings, you must file a another, separate application. A typical […]

Is My U.S. Trademark Registration Protected Internationally?

A trademark registered in the U.S. will only protect you in trademark disputes that arise within the United States. The protections provided by a United States trademark will not apply to trademark issues outside the U.S. In order to receive trademark protections internationally, you must register your trademark in other countries. A U.S. Trademark does […]

Do I Need to Hire a Trademark Attorney Near Me?

Question: Do I need to hire a trademark attorney near me? Answer: No. You can hire a trademark attorney from anywhere in the United States to help with your United States trademark application. Unlike other areas of law, trademark law is federal in nature, meaning attorneys can assist clients in any state. At Gerben Law […]