*Please note that Gerben Law Firm, PLLC is a federal trademark law firm located in Washington, DC that offers Columbus, Ohio residents legal advice in regards to federal trademark matters.
Trademark Attorney Josh Gerben opened Gerben Law Firm in 2008 to provide quality trademark registration services to businesses who were weary of paying big-law firm prices.. Since its doors opened Gerben Law Firm has registered over 4,000 trademarks for its clients with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The attorneys at Gerben Law Firm bring this depth of experience to any trademark matter are happy to assist you with the protection of your valuable brand.
Federal Trademark Registration For Your Business
Top 4 Questions Columbus Businesses Have About Protecting a Trademark
- Should I wait until I begin sales to file a trademark registration?
- If you wait until you are already established before doing a comprehensive search and filing, you may already be exposing yourself to trademark risk, including monetary damages, rebranding, and loss of brand recognition. We recommend performing a search and making a filing before you settle on your name and enter the marketplace to reduce risk.
- How long does it take to register a trademark?
- From start to finish it takes at least 8-10 months to register a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. However, in most instances, your “priority date” starts on the day you apply. This priority date allows to claim a national priority in your trademark as of the date you file your application provided that the application is ultimately registered. This is one of the most important reasons to hire a trademark attorney to assist you with the registration process. If you incorrectly file a trademark application and it has to be re-filed you can lose this priority date and potentially the ability to even use your trademark.
- What are International Classes?
- The USPTO has 47 different groups of goods and services known as “International Classes.” Depending on what goods and/or services you are offering, you may register in one class, or several classes. An experienced attorney can help you draft your list of goods and services to ensure you are filing in the right classes.
- How are those other trademark registration services so cheap?
- When you see a low-cost trademark registration service, there are several questions to ask: What experience does the firm have? What type of initial trademark clearance search does the firm do? Is an attorney involved in every stage of the process? These are important questions that you should ask any attorney, especially ones offering low-cost services that seem too good to be true.
Common Misconceptions about Filing Trademarks for Columbus Businesses
- I can use the ® symbol even if I do not have a registered trademark.
- Use of the registered trademark symbol ® without a registration is against the law in the United States and could prevent you from enforcing or registering your trademark in certain circumstances. Until you have a registration, use the ™ symbol.
- I can file a trademark solely based on a phrase I made up and put on bumper stickers.
- Use on the front of a shirt, on a hat, or on a bumper sticker is usually not (by itself) “trademark” use. You must be using a word, logo, or phrase as a “brand,” not just an ornament or an advertising saying. For example, use of a word on a tag or hangtag may better establish your use of a word as a “brand.”
- When I register a trademark, I am gaining rights throughout North America.
- Trademark registrations in the U.S. are limited only to the United States. If you want protection in Mexico or Canada, you would need to seek protection through separate applications in those countries.
- If I register my competitor’s brands with the USPTO, I can stop my competitor from using them.
- Registering a trademark that you know does not belong to you is fraud and the trademark can be cancelled. You also open yourself up to potential liability, so consult an attorney if you have questions about what can, and can’t, be registered.
The Number of Trademarks Registered by Columbus Businesses (by Year)
How many trademarks have Columbus, Ohio 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 Columbus Businesses
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.
Businesses in Columbus, Ohio range from mom-and-pop stores to massive corporations. No matter the size of your business or what stage you are in, every business should have a plan to register and protect their trademarks. The key is to recognize your trademarks, develop a budget for registration, hire an experienced attorney, and prepare a plan to protect your trademarks from infringement in the future. This strategy, used by businesses large and small, will maximize your business’s trademark assets and set a strong course for success.
So where do you start? The first thing you need to be able to do is recognize your trademarks. These can be almost anything that represents you businesses, whether it’s the company name, slogans, or logos, or whether it’s a unique color scheme or even a smell. All of these things can act as trademarks. An experience attorney can help with this process, giving advice on what trademarks you may already be developing as well as advice on how to protect “non-traditional” trademarks, like smells or sounds, in the future.
Next, you need to set a budget. Depending on your resources, you may start with one trademark and then prepare to roll out additional applications within the coming months, when you have proper funding. This is a good start, but from a legal perspective, the earlier you file your applications the less likely it is that someone else will file and register a trademark that could prevent you from using or registering your trademark. Once you’ve set a budget, then the next step is having an attorney perform a comprehensive search and trademark analysis. This will look for other trademarks that are already registered or in use that may cause issues for you in the future.
Finally, a trademark attorney can draft your application and file it with the USPTO. If there are no issues, then in about nine months, you will have a registered trademark.
But your responsibilities do not stop there. You must set up a monitoring program to ensure that no one else in your industry (or related industries) start using a confusingly-similar trademark. To protect your trademark, you must enforce it against infringers to reduce the chances losing rights. If you fail to enforce your trademark ultimately your rights in the trademark will erode and become narrower over time.
A trademark attorney can assist you through this entire process, while giving you advice on how to manage every stage of the trademark process. At Gerben Law Firm, we offer businesses of all sizes comprehensive trademark services to help protect one of a business’s most valuable assets- your brand.
Gerben Law Firm, LLC also helps clients in other major metro cities within Ohio, including Toledo, Cincinnati and Cleveland.