*Please note that while Gerben Law Firm, PLLC is not located in Georgia, it can assist businesses from Georgia in registering a federal trademark because it is a federal matter.
Gerben Law Firm, PLLC provides professional trademark attorney services. In 2008, Josh Gerben founded Gerben Law firm to provide high-quality trademark search and federal trademark registration services to clients throughout the United States, including Atlanta. Gerben Law Firm’s attorneys have the experience to represent individuals and companies on a variety of trademark and intellectual property services, having assisted clients in obtaining thousands of federal trademark registrations. Assistance with trademark monitoring, renewals, office actions, opposition proceedings, and litigation are also available.
While Gerben Law Firm is based in Washington, DC, Gerben Law Firm assists clients across the country, including from Atlanta. With competitive rates and individualized service, Gerben Law Firm’s attorneys pride themselves on providing cost conscious legal services which deliver quality results.
Federal Trademark Registration For Your Business
Testimonials From Our Clients in the Atlanta Region
“Josh made filing and protecting my trademark easy. He is an expert in his field and willing to spend the time necessary to explain the process and potential issues. His overall value is terrific–like Minute Suites!”
– Daniel S.
Minute Suites of Atlanta
“As a small business owner and entrepreneur you must pick your ‘trusted’ Business Partners carefully, especially when it comes to things you do not have any experience with. I was fortunate enough to meet Josh Gerben several years ago when I needed some Trademark work handled. Understanding the differences between Trademarks, Copyrighting and Patents was clearly not something I had a handle on. In a short time, Josh cleared the air and guided me to what my business needed. For me, he made a relatively complicated process very simple and painless. His services are very affordable for the value, expertise and peace of mind received. I would highly recommend Josh to anyone looking for a trusted partner to handle your Trademark or legal issues. ”
– John O’Brien, CEO
Sales Talent Group & SalesTribe – Atlanta, GA
“Josh Gerben is a national expert when it comes to trademark services. He understands all aspects of the trademark world and provides practical, cost effective advice. A true professional, Josh offers a unique and refreshing approach to trademark services and is a beneficial and efficient resource for any small or large business.”
– Bill Pyron, Founder
The Contracts Law Group – Atlanta, GA
Top 5 Questions Atlanta Businesses Have About Protecting a Trademark
- What is a trademark?
- trademark is typically a word or a logo, but it can be anything that uniquely represents your business, including product shapes, sounds, store layout, color schemes, even smells.
- Is it necessary to hire a trademark attorney?
- While hiring a trademark attorney is not required, seeking assistance from an experienced trademark professional can help the process run quicker, cheaper, and with less complications. It makes sense that many entrepreneurs want to handle the trademark search and registration process themselves, especially when funds are limited at the beginning of a new business or venture. However, this can end up costing you more in the long run, both financially and in time. In the worst-case scenario, you may invest a lot of money in your brand only receive a cease-and-desist letter followed up by costly litigation. At the very least, Gerben Law Firm has seen time and time again individuals and businesses over the years who end up spending more money to have their trademark applications corrected and re-filed. By consulting with a trademark attorney from the very beginning, you can rest assured that things will be taken care of efficiently and properly.
- When should I begin the process of registering a trademark?
- You can register a trademark as soon as you are in the planning stages and can reserve rights for up to three years while you prepare to use the trademark. Gerben Law Firm recommends starting the process as soon as possible after you’ve created the mark. The first step is a comprehensive search, which will uncover many of the existing marks that may interfere with your ability to register or use your trademark. If the search results come back clear, then Gerben Law Firm will draft the application and follow-up with the U.S. government.
- Do I have a higher chance of approval if I use a trademark attorney?
- According to a recent study, yes. An experience trademark attorney has the expertise to guide you throughout the process without experiencing common pit-falls and mistakes. This means that your application will be filled out correctly and quickly, speeding up the process. A study by the University of North Carolina found that trademark applications submitted with the assistance of an attorney are actually 50% more likely to be approved by the United State Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
- How does having a federal trademark registration protect me?
- A federal trademark registration is a powerful tool in protecting your trademark. A federal trademark registration is proof that the United States government has reviewed your trademark and found that it is unique and distinct enough for your products and services to be recognized nationwide. It will prevent anyone after you from registering a similar mark for similar goods and services and it prevents anyone from another part of the country from claiming they “never heard of you” when selecting their trademark, giving you the ability to more easily stop them from using a confusingly similar trademark.
Common Misconceptions about Filing Trademarks for Atlanta Businesses
- The terms trademark, copyright, and patent all have the same meaning.
- A trademark, copyright and patent are completely different forms of intellectual property and protect completely different things. A trademark is most commonly a name, logo, or slogan used on a product or with a service to uniquely identify the producer of that product or service. A copyright protects creative works of authorship, including things like books, t-shirt designs, etc. A patent protects a unique invention (or new process to create something.) Knowing the difference is important and a Gerben Law Firm attorney can help you decide how to protect your IP.
- I registered my trademark with the State of Georgia’s trademark registry, I do not need to do anything further.
- Registering a trademark with the State of Georgia cannot hurt, but it does not give you the protection of a federal trademark registration. Obtaining a federal trademark registration is much more difficult than a state registration.. Moreover, if another company has already registered a federal trademark, or, acquired certain common law rights, a registration with the State of Georgia will not give you the right to use the name. The federal or common law rights may pre-empt any state registration you obtain.
- I obtained a federal trademark registration, so I should be entitled to the domain name as well.
- A domain name is important, but it is possible that two businesses in different industries can be using the same trademark and both have legitimate rights in a domain name. For example, Delta® airlines and Delta® faucets may both want to use “www.delta.com,” but only one will be able to (whoever registered it first or paid for it.) Unless someone is overtly acting in bad-faith to extort you for money or trying to confuse your customers, it can be very hard to take a domain-name from someone else. However, Gerben Law Firm can help you develop a strategy for protecting your trademarks and potentially gaining control over a domain-name using your protected trademark.
- I applied to protect my logo. That is enough to fully protect me.
- You have the option of filing for a “word mark” or a “design mark” at the USPTO. A word mark protects the “word” itself in any design or font. A design mark protects the design that is submitted and any words as they appear in that design. This means someone else could register the same word using a very different design and you would potentially be forced to co-exist with that person, which weakens your trademark. Gerben Law Firm recommends filing for a word mark whenever possible, with a second filing for a unique logo, where appropriate.
The Number of Trademarks Registered by Atlanta Businesses (by Year)
How many trademarks have Atlanta businesses registered over the years? Gerben Law Firm collected the following data.
|Year||# of Trademarks Registered|
*data was gathered from the USPTO’s public database
Types of Trademark Services We Offer
Additional Information on Trademark Registration for Atlanta Businesses
Atlanta is a hotbed for business. In fact, thirteen Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in Atlanta, including Home Depot, UPS, Coca-Cola, and Delta Air Lines. While your Atlanta business may not be on the Fortune 500 yet, you can start by taking a play out of a Fortune-500 playbook by registering and protecting your trademarks. Even if you aren’t Delta or Suntrust (two very successful Atlanta-based businesses) you should consult an experienced trademark attorney to protect and register your trademarks.
Did you come up with a name you feel is unique and represents your business? That is a great first step. However, in order to protect your trademarks, you must effectively use your trademark and protect it against others using similar trademarks in related industries. An experienced trademark attorney can provide his or her expertise throughout the trademark registration process. From inspiration to registration, a trademark attorney can help you protect your company’s valuable trademarks.
As an example, consider a new dietary and nutrition supplements company that opens their headquarters and manufacturing facilities just north of I-70. The owners decide on the name “Igneous Nutrition,” and start producing supplements and vitamins. To save money, the owners skip the trademark registration process and purchase advertising instead. Failing to search and register their trademark could open the owners of Igneous Nutrition to significant trademark liability.
The first thing a business owner should do when protecting a trademark is perform a comprehensive trademark search to see if another company is already out there using a similar trademark. Imagine (using our example) the Igneous Nutrition owners spent a large portion of their budget on cool, holographic labels and for their supplement bottles. Consider what might happen if another company “Ingeous Supplements” registered the trademark with the U.S. government before Igneous gets started. The original business based in Florida could (and should) protect their “Ingeous Supplements” trademark, even though the trademarks are not “identical.” Ingeous Supplements of Florida could file a trademark infringement lawsuit in federal court against the Atlanta-based supplement producer and seek lost profits and other damages. In this situation, the Atlanta business would be faced with a choice no new business wants to face—change the name or face an expensive lawsuit. Worst, the cost of the name change would likely be the new business’s full responsibility. The energy the business devoted to marketing, labeling and otherwise raising awareness for their brand would be wasted. By contacting an experienced trademark attorney and conducting a trademark search, Atlanta-based Igneous Nutrition could have made an informed decision about their marketing. Looking at the big picture, consulting a trademark attorney can ultimately save money and allow a company to invest in their brand.
That being said, if you are the owner of the federal trademark, then you can (and should) stop competitors from selling similar products or services under a confusingly similar name. In fact, in order to maintain a strong trademark, you must diligently protect your trademark. The result of having a strong, protectable trademark means that a company like Igneous Nutrition can feel confident knowing that the money they spend on their marketing, customer service, and other important brand-building activities is not benefiting another company who decides to use a confusing trademark. Consumers would know that when they see “Igneous Nutrition” they are getting high-quality and safe supplements, not a cheap and potentially dangerous knock-off. By registering its trademark, a company can more easily enforce their rights against companies trying to piggy-back on their success.
Working with an experienced trademark attorney will give you a personalized road-map towards protecting your trademarks. By avoiding simple mistakes and selecting a strong, protectable trademark, you will be on your way towards the Fortune 500 with your Atlanta neighbors.