Baltimore Trademark Registration

Trademark Attorney Services for Your Baltimore Business

Welcome to Gerben IP

We have been assisting entrepreneurs, established businesses and other lawyers with trademarks since 2008. We are very proud of the fact that our firm’s representation has resulted in the successful registration of more than 7,500 trademarks with the USPTO.

Protect your trademark
with the assistance of
a trademark attorney
for a flat fee of:

$1,500

(Plus Government Filing Fee)

Providing Trademark Services for Baltimore-based Businesses

Please note that while Gerben IP is not located in Maryland, it can assist businesses from Maryland in registering a federal trademark because it is a federal matter.

Gerben IP provides representation on federal trademark matters for both small and large Baltimore-based businesses. Located just a short drive down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, Gerben IP has been helping businesses register and protect their trademarks since 2008. The attorneys at Gerben IP have registered over 3500 trademarks and are ready to assist you and your business with your unique trademark needs.

Gerben IP is based in Washington, DC but assists clients in federal trademark matters from across the country, including from Baltimore.


How many trademarks are filed each year by businesses in Baltimore, Maryland?

Gerben IP collected the following data from the USPTO’s public database.

Year# of Trademarks Filed
20211045
20201027
2019728
2018752
2017740
2016784
2015755
2014659
Year# of Trademarks Filed
2013656
2012656
2011650
2010651
2009604
2008818
2007701
2006682

Why is trademark registration important for Charm City business owners?

Baltimore is an inspiring mix of young, hip start-ups, entrepreneurs, and established businesses. But the one thing they all have in common is that each one needs a strong trademark to grow their business.

Trademark protection allows businesses to invest in the quality of their products and services. It helps ensures that, after all of the effort a business owner puts into their marketing, customer experience and quality, no one will be able to piggy-back on that success and get a “free ride.” However, a strong, protectable trademark is not something that is just handed to a business. Savvy business owners know that strong trademarks are obtained through diligence and hard-work, starting with the trademark’s conception all the way to its enforcement and long-term protection.

Let’s say you are a baker who specializes in fried dough. You started as a small stand in the inner harbor and you just signed a lease on your first brick-and-mortar bakery in Canton. Originally you were just called the “Fried Dough Stand.”

Fundamentally, at its heart, “Fried Dough Stand” is a descriptive trademark. It merely describes the goods and service that are being offered. While it is possible to gain trademark rights in a descriptive mark (think American Airlines) it takes time and a significant level of consumer awareness. Even if you are able to establish trademark rights, those rights will be limited in scope.

So you decide on the name “Españurros” for your bakery, based on a mix of the words “español” and “churros.” These types of marks are inherently strong, because it does not describe the products directly and requires a significant “leap” for the consumer to connect “Españurros” with a bakery selling fried dough. The next step would be to have an attorney perform a comprehensive trademark search. This search will look at what is already registered and already in use and determine if you have a high risk of having issues with the trademark in the future. If it does, then you should consider choosing a new name now, instead of investing a significant amount of money and risk having to completely re-brand.

If you’re comfortable with your risk level, the next step is to draft a trademark application and apply to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. An experience attorney can counsel you regarding your identification, filing basis, International Classes, and proof of use. Once you apply, the entire process will take at least 8-9 months. During that time, a government attorney will review the trademark and, if he or she approves it, will allow any third party a chance to object to your registration.

At the end of that period, if you are successful, you will own a federal trademark registration.

The journey towards a strong trademark does not end there – in fact, it never ends. You must diligently protect your trademark from confusingly-similar uses on related goods and services. You must monitor the USPTO and the marketplace to ensure no one is infringing on your rights. You must also consistently use the trademark and keep it in use, because if you stop using the trademark, you could lose your registration and trademark rights.

Trademark protection is an ongoing process, but successful business owners know the value of their brands and the important of developing strong, protectable trademarks. The attorneys at Gerben IP have the experience to provide individualized trademark advice to a variety of clients, big and small.

The top 5 questions Baltimore businesses have about obtaining a trademark.

Why should I register my trademark with the USPTO?

Federal registration of a trademark gives the owner several key benefits over un-registered trademark owners. First, once a mark is registered, every other business offering similar goods and services is expected to search the USPTO database and avoid using a mark confusingly similar to a registered mark. They can’t say they had never “heard of you” and still use a confusing trademark. For unregistered trademarks, two uses of identical marks can potentially co-exist in different parts of the country by two different companies. Trademark registration also gives the owner a legal presumption that the trademark is valid and that the owner is the true owner of the trademark and tends to be much easier to enforce a registered trademark versus an unregistered one.

What is the difference between a trademark and a copyright?

A trademark protects words, phrases, logos and pretty much anything that indicates, to consumers, that a product or services comes from a particular company. This can be business names, slogans, designs, and even sounds or smell. A copyright protects creative works, such as art, writing, music, from others using that work without permission. As an example, if you sell your own branded cell phone cases online, trademark law protects the brand name, while copyright law would protect the photographs you take of your products.

When should I file my trademark application?

You can file a trademark application under and “intent-to-use” basis as soon as you have a bona fide intent to use a trademark in the United States. An intent-to-use would mean that you are working towards using the mark on products on in connection with services. You cannot file for a trademark that you do not intend to use just for the sake of keeping a competitor from using it.

Is my trademark application kept secret while the USPTO reviews it?

All trademark applications are public records and are posted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s website daily. Every response to and from the USPTO will be public as well.

How do I know what classes I should file for?

Deciding on what classes to file under is one of the many legal decisions made during the trademark application process. There are 47 different classes to choose from and some of them are not always obvious on their face. For example, music recordings and cell phone cases are in the same class. You should pick the classes that best fit the goods and services you are offering or plan to offer, but do not file in classes you do not intend to use.


Common misperceptions about trademarks heard around Baltimore.

I do not need permission to register a trademark with a celebrity’s name in it, because they are public figures.

The USPTO will require a written and signed consent for any use of a living person’s name as a part of any trademark application for a business or individual that is not that specific person. Every year, thousands of trademark applications using famous people’s names, such as politicians, are denied by the USPTO.

I should register in as many classes as possible and include as many goods as I can think of.

Trademark applications should be narrowly tailored to the goods and services that are (or will be) offered by the applicant. By registering in too many classes you may (1) increase the chances of getting denied (based on pre-existing marks or lack of use) and (2) spend a lot of money doing it. Further, if the application is drafted too broadly, any resulting registration could be subject to cancellation.

I registered my trademark before a competitor who has been using a similar trademark for longer. I am the rightful owner and can tell the competitor to cease-and-desist.

While federal trademark rights are extremely valuable, unregistered trademarks are still given “common law” rights. These are limited rights, but if you knew (or should have known) that a competitor was using a similar mark, then you may be infringing on their mark, regardless of your registration status.

I googled my trademark so I do not need to do a comprehensive search.

A comprehensive search looks for trademarks similar in sight, sound, meaning and commercial impression. Any existing mark for similar goods or services that fit into any of those criteria could be problematic for your use and registration of a trademark.

15+
Years of Experience
10,000+
Trademark Searches
Completed
7,500+
Trademarks Federally
Registered
5
Customer Service

Helping Our Customers Succeed

Scrub DudeScrub Dude ★★★★★ Very positive experience with Gerben IP. Love the automations they have setup and the diligence in which they handle our account.Natasha TarnovskayaNatasha Tarnovskaya ★★★★★ Exceptional services for several years now! Highly recommend!Sol María Díaz PérezSol María Díaz Pérez ★★★★★ This law firm is a true standout in their field, especially concerning our recent trademark request.Our assigned lawyer showed genuine interest in our business and crafted a robust trademark application that ensured comprehensive protection. Communication was prompt and clear, making us feel valued and well-informed throughout the process.We highly recommend their services to any business needing top-notch legal assistance.Abigail CarpenterAbigail Carpenter ★★★★★ We have worked with Gerben on multiple Trademark filings and are very happy with their work. They communicate clearly, do a great job of explaining the process, and always keep us up to date on the status of our filings.Rachel CicioniRachel Cicioni ★★★★★ Autumn BitterlichAutumn Bitterlich ★★★★★ I am thoroughly impressed by Josh Gerben and his colleagues. They helped me through the detailed process of filing and my Trademark, which would have been an extremely stressful process for me to do alone. I could depend on them to contact me in a timely manner to keep all of the filings up to date, and CORRECT. I can't say enough positive about them. The whole team was quick to respond to my questions and made me feel secure in my choosing them.js_loader

Do you need assistance with a trademark matter? Reach out to an attorney now.

Contact Us
Back to top