*Please note that while Gerben Law Firm is not located in Texas, it can assist businesses from Texas in registering a federal trademark because it is a federal matter.
Gerben Law Firm was established in 2008 by trademark lawyer Josh Gerben. Since opening its doors, the attorneys at Gerben Law Firm have successfully registered over 3500 trademarks for clients from all 50 states. Whether you are a small business based in Round Rock or a large business in downtown Austin, Gerben Law Firm can provide you professional federal trademark representation.
Everything You Need on Obtaining Trademarks in Austin, TX
Testimonials From Our Austin, TX Clients
“Josh really did a great job on trademarking several names for us. The value was excellent and he came through. I will only use him in the future as he delivers results for what I consider as an excellent value. He answers his personal emails and voicemails in a timely manner as well.”
– Jon Paulsen CPE
Certified Professional Ergonomist & Owner, The Human Solution – Austin, TX
Top 5 Questions about Obtaining a Trademark
- What is a trademark?
- A trademark indicates that a product or service is associated with a specific brand or company. It can protect words, colors, sounds, names, and even symbols. Once a federal trademark registration is obtained, the owner has presumption of validity on a nationwide basis. Trademarks can be renewed indefinitely, as long as the goods or services associated with the trademark are still offered.
- When should I start the trademark process?
- Obtaining a federal trademark registration for a business, product, or service name should be considered an urgent matter. The filing process should ideally begin as quickly as possible because the filing date of an application is the federal priority date for the trademark (so long as it is ultimately approved for registration on the Principal Register). In addition, a trademark search should be completed before a business owner decides on a name and branding concept. You don’t want to create marketing material and begin promoting your business under a name that you later find out infringes on someone else’s trademark. As mentioned above, if a trademark search does not show any conflict, it is important for you to file a trademark application as soon as possible. The date in which you file this application becomes your priority date for the trademark nationwide.
- Why should I hire a trademark attorney?
- It is understandable that money can be tight at the start of a new business. Because of this, many individuals and small businesses often try to navigate the trademark process on their own. However, filing for a trademark registration can be much more time consuming and detailed than it seems. At Gerben Law Firm, we’ve assisted many clients over the years, many of whom spent more money working with us to fix and re-file their trademark applications than they would have if they’d hired us initially. By hiring an experienced, professional trademark attorney from the beginning, you will be saving time, stress, and most importantly, money.
- Does hiring a trademark attorney increase my chances of approval?
- A study by the University of North Carolina found that trademark applications submitted with the help of an attorney are 50% more likely to be approved by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The results of this study are not surprising to us as trademark attorneys. There are many chances for mistakes in the process for an individual completing a trademark application on their own. Trademark attorneys understand how trademark applications are reviewed by the USPTO, and, therefore can draft applications that conform to the standards that the USPTO examiners require.
- Is my trademark kept secret while the USPTO reviews it?
- All trademark applications are public records. These, along with responses to and from the USPTO will be posted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s website daily.
Common Misunderstandings about Filing Trademarks for Austin Based Businesses
- Trademarks, copyrights, and patents are essentially the same thing.
- Trademarks, copyrights, and patents are not interchangeable terms. Trademarks protect items such as product/service names, company names, slogans and logos. Copyrights, however, protect works of authorship, and patents are filed to protect inventions.
- I do not need permission to register a trademark with a public figure’s name in it.
- Written and signed consent is required by the USPTO for any use of a living person’s name in a trademark application. Each year, countless trademark applications using the names of public figures, including celebrities and politicians, are denied by the USPTO.
- I registered my trademark before a competitor who had been using a similar unregistered trademark before me. I am the rightful owner and can pursue action against my competitor.
- Federal trademark rights are extremely valuable, however, unregistered trademarks still have “common law” rights. These rights are much more limited, but if you knew that a competitor was using a similar mark, you could be infringing, regardless of registration status. You should certainly seek the counsel of a trademark attorney in such a situation.
- I did an internet search for my trademark, so I do not need a trademark search done by an attorney.
- The software available on any website (the USPTO’s or any other private company/law firm) is very limited when it comes to the ability to find a conflicting trademark. Most (if not all) of these search engines are unable to identify similar trademarks (they only pull identical matches to your name). Most trademark issues come from a trademark that may be similar in sight, sound, eaning, and commercial impression. A trademark attorney that uses a professional grade software can provide you with a much better assessment of your trademark than you can by conducting an internet search.
The Number of Trademarks Registered in Austin (by Year)
How many trademarks have Austin, Texas businesses registered over the years? Gerben Law Firm collected the following data.
||# of Trademarks Registered
*data was gathered from the USPTO’s public database
Types of Trademark Services offered to Austin Clients
Additional Information on Trademark Registration in Austin, Texas
Austin is a hotbed for start-ups, from restaurants to tech companies. Some smaller businesses may do a cursory Google search, decide that no one else is currently using their business name, and proceed without hiring an attorney to conduct a trademark search and file a federal trademark application. While this is certainly less expensive and quicker than hiring a trademark attorney, this decision could cost the business in the end. Consider the following scenario:
Let’s say you and a friend decide to start a food truck in the city of Austin, where food trucks of all types are booming. Because of your first names—Ben and Bryan—and your love of barbecue, you decide on the name B and B Barbecue. A quick internet search turns up no other food trucks by that name, so you go ahead with wrapping your truck in the business name and logo, printing napkins and menus, and promoting your new venture all over social media. A friend in Charleston, SC sees your Instagram post and forwards it to her uncle, the owner of a federally registered trademark for B & B BBQ Sauce, a sauce that it sells nationwide. You were unaware this company even existed, until you receive the cease-and-desist letter.
As a business owner, it is your responsibility to refrain from infringing on others protected trademarks. Simply claiming that you have never heard of another company, or, you did not think that you would be infringing your trademark rights is not an acceptable defense. By hiring an experienced trademark attorney, you can know the risk of a trademark before spending money to build and market your business under that name. At Gerben Law Firm, we can assist you in conducting a proper trademark search and securing the federal rights in your trademark with our reasonable flat fee trademark services.