*Please note that while Gerben Law Firm is not located in Ohio, it can assist businesses from Ohio in registering a federal trademark because it is a federal matter.
Gerben Law Firm was founded in 2008, by trademark attorney Josh Gerben. Since that time, Gerben and his team of experienced trademark attorneys have registered thousands of trademarks for individuals and businesses of all sizes. Whether you plan to open a barber shop in Mt. Lookout or expand your manufacturing facility in Mason, Gerben Law Firm’s professional team is ready to assist you in registering your trademark.
Federal Trademark Registration for Your Cincinnati Business
Top 4 Questions Cincinnati Businesses Have About Obtaining a Trademark
- What is a trademark?
- A trademark is anything that shows that a product or service is associated with a certain business or brand. Common trademarks include words, logos, and slogans, but even sounds, smells, and colors can also be protected with trademark registration.
- How long is the process to register a trademark?
- Trademark registration usually takes between 8 to 10 months from start to finish. However, each registration process is unique, and it can sometimes take a year or more to obtain trademark approval from the USPTO. Thankfully, the date that you file your application will become your priority date, which means anyone looking to file a similar mark after that date will likely not be approved. That’s why it’s important to begin the process as soon as possible.
- What are International Classes?
- The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has 47 groups of goods and services known as International Classes. When you file your trademark application, you will need to select the class that best represents the goods or services you plan to offer under your trademark. Depending on your business needs, you may need to select one or more than one International Classes on your application.
- How do I know which International Classes I should file for?
Common Misunderstandings about Filing Trademarks for Cincinnati Businesses
- Using a DIY legal site to register my trademark is just as good as working with an attorney.
- Using a DIY site may seem like a cost-effective option, but it could likely cost more money in the long run. Many business owners file an application alone, only to have the application rejected. They must then start over, paying additional filing fees. Working with an experienced trademark attorney will ensure a smooth process and could likely increase your chances of approval as well. In fact, a study by the University of North Carolina recently found that applications submitted with the help of a trademark attorney were 50% more likely to be approved by the USPTO.
- I am fully protected, because I applied to protect my business name.
- Obtaining trademark registration for your business name is a great start, but it may not be enough to protect your brand from infringement. Consider all of the aspects of your business that represent your brand, which include not only your business name, but your product name, logo, slogan, and signature color as well. Work with an experienced trademark attorney to determine which aspects of your business should be protected by trademark registration.
- I should wait to register my trademark until my business is more established.
- Some business owners decide to put off trademark registration until their business is established and they are bringing in funds. Unfortunately, that may not be the best decision for your business. Before you invest time and money into your new business, you should make sure that the investment is protected. Ideally, the process to file for trademark registration should begin before you choose a name, create a logo, or label your products. Waiting to do so could leave you open to infringement in the future.
- I did my own Google search of my trademark, so I don’t need a search done by a trademark attorney.
- A basic internet search will not be comprehensive enough to determine whether a mark is available for registration. Most search engines, like Google, will only return exact matches, but many trademark disputes don’t arise from exact matches, but rather any mark that may be confusingly similar. The software used by trademark attorneys is significantly more comprehensive, and will reveal both exact and similar matches to your trademark.
- The symbols “TM” and “®” mean the same thing.
- Each of these symbols is used to represent a trademark at different stages of registration. The ® indicates that a trademark has been federally registered. Do not use this symbol until your mark has been approved by the USPTO. Until that time, you are free to use the ™ symbol. While you may be anxious to use the ® symbol, it’s important to know that using it before your mark has been registered is a violation of federal law, and it could ultimately lead to your trademark application being cancelled.
The Number of Trademarks Registered by Cincinnati Businesses (by Year)
How many trademarks have Cincinnati, OH 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 Cincinnati Businesses
As entrepreneurs develop their new business plans, they often focus on product development, marketing, and employees first. While these are certainly essential to future business success, it’s important to not overlook trademark registration, and to understand the valuable protections a federally registered trademark will provide.
Imagine two friends, recent Xavier graduates, that develop a new tinted moisturizer that their friends and family love. After much encouragement, the friends decide to begin selling their product, named Clean Beauty for its all natural ingredients, at boutiques around Cincinnati. They’ve heard about trademark registration and consider filing with the USPTO, but they ultimately decide their small beauty business just isn’t big enough to justify the costs.
When the friends see continued success in local shops, they begin to sell them online as well. Because they did not conduct a trademark search or apply for trademark protections, they now risk infringing on a similar beauty product that may be sold in another area. Unfortunately, this could lead to being locked out of a particular region, or worse, could force them to stop sales and rebrand their product.
By working with a trademark attorney, even small businesses can benefit from obtaining a trademark registration early on, ensuring they will not infringe on another business or product. Contact Gerben Law Firm to learn more about our trademark registration and monitoring services.