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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.

When and Why You May Need to Hire a U.S. Trademark Attorney

A registered trademark is a valuable asset to any business. While registering a trademark may seem fairly simple, the process is actually quite detailed and requires many legal decisions along the way. Choosing to take on this task alone can lead to unnecessary errors, costly re-filings, and even rejection. Whether you are just beginning to […]

5 Steps to Protecting Your Trademark Internationally

The protections you receive as a U.S. trademark owner are a valuable asset to your business. However, it is important to know that those protections only apply to trademark disputes within the United States. Whether your retail store reaches customers in Europe or you plan to manufacture products in Asia, it is time to consider […]

USPTO Denies Warner Bros. Trademark Application for a Harry Potter Quote

  In October of last year, Warner Bros. attempted to register the famous “Harry Potter” phrase, “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.” As intellectual property owner of the Harry Potter movie series, Warner Bros. filed the application for a variety of different products. The examining attorney assigned to this trademark application […]

Tips on Fighting a Bad Faith Trademark Registration in China

In today’s global economy, it is smart to consider trademark registration in China.  Whether you plan to manufacture your product in Beijing or you already reach customers in Shanghai, it is important to begin the process as soon as possible.  Bad faith trademark registrations are on the rise in China, and the best way to […]

How the NCAA Obtained the March Madness Trademark

   The story of how the NCAA obtained the “March Madness” trademark spans more than half a century. Back in the early 1940s, the Illinois State High School Association coined the phrase “March Madness” for its state-wide basketball tournament. This association used the phrase undisturbed for nearly 40 years, until 1982, when Brent Musburger […]

How to Prove Commercial Use of Your Product or Service

What does proof of commercial use mean in the context of a trademark application? We get this question all the time. We often file trademarks for businesses that aren’t up and running based on an intent to use a trademark. The benefit of filing it on that intent to use, is that the priority date […]

Nike’s Prevails in Copyright Lawsuit on the JUMPMAN Logo

  On Monday, March 25, the Supreme Court issued a notice saying that it would not hear a lawsuit brought by the photographer that shot a famous Michael Jordan image. The photographer claimed that Nike infringed on his copyright, because the company took his image and turned into the Jumpman logo. The case was decided […]

How Much Does it Cost to Register a Trademark in the U.K.?

If you’ve recently registered your U.S. trademark, you may be wondering how to extend your trademark protections overseas.  A trademark registered in the United Kingdom provides trademark rights and protections in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.  Whether your online retail shop has customers in Glasgow, or you plan to open a brick and mortar […]

How to Protect the Name of Your Crowdfunded Product

  With so many businesses raising funds for new products through crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and GoFundMe, it is important to understand the process required to protect the name of your product before you launch. Below are four important steps to follow when considering to trademark your company or product name. 1. Run a […]

Our Analysis of Penn State’s Happy Valley Trademark Refusal

  Penn State University’s trademark application on ‘Happy Valley’ was initially refused on March 11, 2019 by the trademark office. The office action, USPTO code for refusing an application initially, was given for two main reasons. 1. The trademark office found the trademark to be geographically descriptive. As ‘Happy Valley’ is a commonly used nickname […]

How to Identify Your Company’s Trademarks

The vast majority of questions our firm gets are about protecting business names, logos, and slogans with federal trademark filings. These are a great place to start, but there are many other things a business may want to protect. Is your business protecting the names of product and service lines? Two of the most common […]

Rag & Bone Holdings Files a Trade Dress Application for the Number 44

  On February 22, the retail brand Rag & Bone Holdings made a trade dress filing for the number 44. Why would the retail brand want to make a filing for this number on the sleeve of bomber jackets? Well, the 44th president, Barack Obama, was recently seen wearing this style of jacket at a […]