*Please note that while Gerben Law Firm, PLLC is not located in Cleveland, Ohio, it can assist businesses from other states in registering a federal trademark because it is a federal matter.
Trademark attorney Josh Gerben founded Gerben Law Firm in 2008 to assist individuals and businesses of all sizes register and protect their trademarks. Since that time, Gerben and his team of experienced trademark attorneys have registered thousands of trademarks across the country, including the Cleveland area. Contact us for all of your trademark needs. Whether you plan to open a brewery near the Westside Market or expand your tech firm in Westlake, Gerben Law Firm is here to assist you.
Federal Trademark Registration for Your Cleveland Business
Testimonials from our Clients in the Cleveland Region
“Needed quick assistance with a trademark for my company after having opened the company and failing to trademark the name. I was able to speak to Josh on the first call into the office and the same day I had the necessary paperwork to complete to trademark my company name and logo. Very impressive results. If you are looking for a trademark attorney I would highly recommend Josh Gerben.”
– Edward Lambert
IT Manager at Saeco USA – Cleveland, OH
Top 4 Questions Cleveland Businesses Have About Obtaining and Protecting a Trademark
- Why do I need a trademark?
- A registered trademark will protect anything that represents your brand to your customers. A strong trademark will help you establish customer recognition and provides the presumption of validity nationwide. With a registered trademark, you’ll have the right to stop competitors from using a similar mark as well.
- What are common law trademark protections?
- Your trademark will have some limited protections as soon as you use it in the marketplace, even if it is not registered. However, it’s important to know just how limited these protections are. You will have a right to the mark only in the small region the business is located, which can make expansion and growth difficult. You will also have a more challenging time asserting your trademark rights in legal proceedings. In order to gain full protection for your trademark, you need to register your mark with the USPTO.
- When should I file my trademark application?
- Ideally, the process to register your trademark should be one of the first actions you take as a business owner. Many owners believe that they should wait to register their marks until their business is more established, but this could be a costly mistake if you later find you are infringing on another mark. It’s frustrating to learn that your mark is already in use, but it’s better to learn this before you brand your business, label your products, buy signage, and design a website. Starting the process early allows you to make changes to your mark, if needed, before investing additional money into branding your business.
- Will my federally registered trademark protect me in international trademark disputes?
- The protections you receive as a trademark owner are valuable to your business, but they will only protect you in disputes within the United States. If you are currently doing business in another country, whether through sales, manufacturing, or distribution, you should strongly consider registering your trademark in that specific country as well.
Common Misunderstandings about Filing Trademarks for Cleveland Businesses
- The terms trademark, copyright, and patents can all be used interchangeably.
- Trademarks, copyrights, and patents provide protection for different things and are not interchangeable. A trademark protects things that represent your business, like business names, logos, and slogans. Copyrights, on the other hand, protect creative works like music, art, and novels, while patents protect inventions.
- The USPTO will monitor my trademark and alert me to potential infringement.
- The USPTO registers trademarks but they do not monitor their use or enforce trademark rights. Those are the responsibility of the trademark owner. Fortunately, Gerben Law Firm offers monitoring services to assist you in finding potential infringement and taking legal action to stop it.
- If I have a registered trademark on a word, I should have rights to the domain name as well.
- Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. It’s possible for two different businesses to trademark the same word if there is no likelihood of confusion between the two businesses. For instance, United Healthcare and United Airlines may both trademark the word ‘United’ since customers likely won’t confuse the two companies. Therefore, both could have rights to the domain name as well. In this circumstance, the first company to purchase the domain name would have the rights to use it. In some situations, however, you may be able to recapture a domain name if it was purchased with ill intent. Our attorneys can help you in navigating these domain disputes.
- It only takes one trademark to protect my business.
- While each business is unique, it usually takes more than one trademark to protect your business. Keep in mind that each type of mark will require its own registration. For instance, your business name, product name, and logo would each be a separate trademark registration, and all would benefit from trademark protections.
- I run a small, local business, so it doesn’t make sense to register a federal trademark.
- Even small businesses should register their trademarks. It may seem like you can’t afford to apply for trademark protections, but in many cases, you can’t afford not to. Moving forward without trademark registration will limit your protections to the small geographic region you live and could greatly impact your ability to grow and expand in the future. You’ll also have little recourse to take action against anyone that may infringe upon your mark. Gerben Law Firm offers professional trademark services for a reasonable flat rate designed for businesses of all sizes.
The Number of Trademarks Registered by Cleveland Businesses (by Year)
How many trademarks have Cleveland, 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 Cleveland Businesses
Cleveland is a strong Midwestern city with a spirit of entrepreneurship. As neighborhoods continue to see revitalization, new businesses are popping up across the city. When opening a business, many Cleveland business owners focus first on product development and marketing, both essential to their future success, but that often leaves little room in the budget for trademark registration. Unfortunately, putting off this important step could cost the business even more in the long run.
Consider this scenario: Tim lives in Lakewood and has been paying close attention to the housing market in the area. As younger generations return to the city, the need for quality carpentry has never been greater. Tim has worked for another company for years, but, after saving some money, decides to open his own business, catering to people remodeling homes in Lakewood and Cleveland. He knows that he shouldn’t use the same business name of another carpentry company in the area, so he does a quick Google search with the name he hopes to use, featuring the common abbreviation for the city: CLE Carpentry.
Tim doesn’t find anyone else using that exact name, so he moves forward creating a website, developing a marketing campaign, and wrapping his work van in his new business’s name. Unfortunately, less than a year after Tim starts his business, he receives a cease-and-desist letter in the mail. He learns that, while his search didn’t reveal anyone using the exact name CLE Carpentry, another company, Cleveland Carpentry found the name to be confusingly similar. Because the owners of Cleveland Carpentry registered their trademark, they are well within their rights to request that Tim stop using the name. Now he must invest even more money into his business in an effort to rebrand.
Even small businesses, like Tim’s, can benefit from working with an attorney to register their trademark. Contact Gerben Law Firm to learn more about our trademark registration and monitoring services in the Cleveland area today!
Do you have trademark needs in other major metropolitan cities in Ohio (Columbus, Cincinnati or Toledo)? We support a wide range of businesses throughout Ohio. Reach out today and learn more about how we can help.