*Please note that while Gerben Law Firm is not located in North Carolina, it can assist businesses from North Carolina in registering a federal trademark because it is a federal matter.
Since its founding in 2008, Gerben Law Firm has been helping clients from all over the United States register and protect their trademarks, including from Charlotte. Attorney Josh Gerben and his team have successfully registered over 4,000 federal on behalf of clients. Whether you own a growing brewery in NoDa or a small bakery in SouthPark, Gerben Law Firm’s team of experienced trademark attorneys is ready to assist you in registering your trademark.
Federal Trademark Registration for Your Business
Testimonials – What our Clients are Saying Around Charlotte
“We have used Josh now for several trademark filings and have followed up with protection needs over the past few years. His excellent work and affordable approach make his service one of the best available and allow us to highly recommend him and his firm.”
– David Knapp
CPA, CMA, CGMA, Consultant at Mesaba Business Consulting – Near Charlotte, NC
“Josh was very easy to work with and definitely an expert in his field. Made the process of trademarking very simple and kept the cost contained to exactly what he said he would. I would use him again without question.”
– Jay Caldwell
General Manager at MoTeC East – Charlotte, NC
Top 4 Questions Charlotte Businesses Have About Obtaining a Trademark
- Why do I need a trademark?
- A trademark protects anything that represents your company. The most common trademarks include names, phrases, words, and symbols, but even colors, sounds, and smells can be trademarked. Having a trademark distinguishes you from your competitors, and can also protect you from a competitor infringing on your unique mark. Without a trademark, you might also find yourself infringing on another company’s mark, which can be a costly mistake.
- Why should I hire a trademark attorney?
- Business owners often opt to begin the trademark registration process on their own, only to find the process much more complicated than they anticipated. Those business owners may find that they will spend more money to correct and re-file their application than they would have if they had hired an attorney from the beginning. Working with an experienced trademark attorney from Gerben Law Firm ensures that the process will run smoothly and professionally from start to finish.
- What is the USPTO?
- The USPTO stands for the United States Patent and Trademark Office, which is a division of the Department of Commerce. The USPTO examines applications, then registers trademarks for products and services and grants patents for new inventions. They also maintain the records for trademarks and patents.
- When should I file my trademark application?
- When it comes to registering a trademark, the sooner the better. Ideally, this process should be one of the first things you do when starting your business. The date you file your application becomes your priority date, which means that you have priority for the mark ahead of anyone that may file a similar application at a later date. A professional trademark search can also provide peace of mind that you can begin to brand your business without a high risk of infringing on another trademark. Delaying the process could leave you and your business open to liability.
Common Misunderstandings about Filing Trademarks for Charlotte Businesses
- The terms trademark, copyright, and patent are all essentially the same thing.
- While these terms are often confused, they are not interchangeable. A trademark is a name, logo, slogan, or anything that represents your product or company to a consumer. Copyrights protect creative works such as books or art. Patents are issued to protect unique inventions. It is important to know which of these you need to protect your own intellectual property.
- I applied to protect my logo. That should be enough to protect me.
- When applying for your trademark, you have the option of filing for a “word mark” or a “design mark.” A design mark only protects the design and any words as they appear in the design. Therefore, if you were to change your logo at some point in the future you could lose the rights in your federal trademark registration. For this reason it may be recommended that you file your trademark application for just your name, and, consider filing a second application for your logo.
- No one else can use a word that I have registered as a federal trademark.
- Two brands can have the same name if there is no potential confusion between the products or services. For example, Delta is a well-known airline, but a different company named Delta manufactures and sells faucets. They operate using the same name, but they are not seen as competitors, as they do business in to entirely different industries. Both, then, can trademark their use of the word “Delta.”
- I only need one trademark filing to cover all of my trademarks
- A trademark application can only cover a single trademark. Most companies have several trademarks. For example, a name, logo and slogan could require three different filings to cover all three distinct trademarks. The trademark attorneys at Gerben Law Firm can assist you in identifying how many trademark applications you should file to protect your trademark rights.
- The process to register a trademark is easy, so a “do-it-yourself” legal website is just as effective as hiring an attorney.
- Filing for a trademark can be a complicated process, requiring dozens of legal decisions unique to your business. Details such as the scope of the goods and services, the ownership of the trademark, and the availability of the mark all need to be considered. Hiring an attorney will increase your chances of registering your trademark and can save you time and money in the long run.
The Number of Trademarks Registered by Charlotte Businesses (by Year)
How many trademarks have Charlotte, North Carolina 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 We Offer
Additional Information on Trademark Registration for Charlotte Businesses
Charlotte is frequently named as one of the fasted growing cities in the country. Every year, the population grows, and that means that new businesses are popping up from Lake Norman to Rock Hill. New business owners may be reluctant to invent time and money filing for a trademark, but failing to do so could be detrimental to their long term growth and success.
Consider this scenario. An outdoor enthusiast in the Charlotte area frequently bikes on the greenways in and around town, and he sees a need. He decides to open several small bike rental shops in the area, so that others can enjoy the paved trails winding through suburban Charlotte through Uptown. He decides upon the name Greenway Bikes and immediately starts branding a “signature” lime green bike with the business name and logo prominently displayed.
Unbeknownst to him, a well-known online custom bike shop has been making and selling a “Greenway Bike” for years, and because they have a trademark, the owner of Greenway Bikes might now need to rebrand his entire inventory of bikes. This is a costly mistake that could have been avoided if he’d worked with an attorney and completed a comprehensive trademark search before he designed his bikes and opened up shop.
If you are opening a new business or expanding an existing one consider contacting the attorneys at Gerben Law Firm for a complimentary trademark consultation.