*Please note that while Gerben Law Firm is not located in Texas, it can assist businesses from Texas in registering a federal trademark because it is a federal matter.
Trademark attorney Josh Gerben founded Gerben Law Firm in 2008 to provide professional trademark services to individuals and businesses of all sizes. Since that time, Gerben and his team of attorneys have registered thousands of trademarks across the country, including the Corpus Christi area. Whether you want to open a surf shop in Mustang Island or you are looking to expand your construction company in Flour Bluff, Gerben Law Firm can provide you professional federal trademark representation.
Federal Trademark Registration for Your Corpus Christi Business
Top 5 Questions Corpus Christi Businesses Have About Obtaining and Protecting a Trademark
- What is a trademark?
- A trademark is anything that indicates a particular product or service is associated with a specific brand. The most common trademarks include business or product names, logos, and slogans, but even smells and signature colors can be protected through trademark registration. Obtaining United States registration will provide you valuable protection from infringement in all fifty states.
- Will an attorney increase my chances of approval?
- Yes, hiring an experienced trademark attorney will increase your chance of approval. In fact, a recent study conducting by the University of North Carolina shows that trademark applications submitted with the help of a trademark attorney actually increase the likelihood of approval by up to fifty percent! In working with an attorney, you will also ensure the process runs smoothly, while you remain focused on other aspects of your business.
- How long is the process to register a trademark?
- Trademark registration usually takes from 8 to 10 months to complete, though in some cases, it can take a year or more to gain approval from the USPTO. Working with a trademark attorney could likely result in a quicker process than filing on your own. This is because your application will be submitted correctly the first time, and with all the relevant documentation. This should cut down on additional requests for information from the USPTO, speeding the process.
- When should I start the process to register my mark?
- The process to register your mark should ideally be one of the first things you do as a business owner. Before you invest in branding, product labeling, and a website, you’ll want to know that the mark you plan to use is available. As soon as you’ve decided on a mark, conduct a search to be sure no one is using a similar mark. Then submit your application as soon as possible. The date you file will become your priority date, which means anyone looking to file a confusingly similar mark after that date will likely not be approved.
- Does my trademark protect me outside the United States?
- The protections you receive as a federally registered trademark owner are valuable to your business, but they will not apply to disputes that occur outside the United States. In order to gain trademark protections in another country, you must be registered in that country as well. If you do business outside the United States, either through sales, distribution, or manufacturing, you should consider registering your mark internationally.
Common Misunderstandings about Filing Trademarks for Corpus Christi Businesses
- The USPTO will conduct a trademark search, so I don’t need to do one before I submit my application.
- An examiner at the USPTO will conduct a search on your trademark after you’ve submitted your application and paid your filing fees. If the examiner finds a similar mark, your application could be rejected and your filing fees lost. For this reason, it’s best to conduct a search prior to submitting your application. This way, if a similar trademark is found, you can work to change the mark before filing your application and paying your fees to the USPTO.
- I should register for as many classes as possible.
- This may not be the best idea for a few different reasons. First, filing for multiple classes could be cause for rejection from the USPTO, especially if you cannot document use in each class. Additionally, filing fees are based on the number of classes you file, which means that the more classes filed, the higher the fees. Stick to the goods or services you currently offer or plan to offer in the very near future.
- I registered my business name, so that is enough to protect my business.
- A trademark registration for your business name is a great start, but it’s most likely not enough to protect your business. Consider things like your product name, logo, slogan, or signature color. These may also benefit from trademark protections. Work with an experienced trademark attorney to determine which aspects of your business need trademark protections.
- The symbols “TM” and “®” mean the same thing.
- While these symbols are both related to trademarks, they are not interchangeable. The trademark registration symbol ® can only be used once your trademark has been federally registered. While your application is pending, you may use the ™ symbol. Using the ® symbol before your mark has been approved by the USPTO is a violation of federal law, and could be grounds for rejection of your application.
The Number of Trademarks Registered by Corpus Christi Businesses (by Year)
How many trademarks have Corpus Christi, TX 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 Corpus Christi Businesses
It’s a great time to be a business owner in Corpus Christi, and new businesses are popping up all over the city. Entrepreneurs are do-it-yourselfers by nature, and some small business owners first try to manage trademark searches and registration on their own. Unfortunately, while taking the DIY approach might be beneficial in other areas of your business, trademark registration isn’t one of them.
Consider this scenario: Dave and Jill, recent retirees and adventure seekers living in Corpus Christi, have thought of a creative way to make some extra income in the warmer months. They decide to use their boat to take tourists parasailing off the coast. Dave has some knowledge of trademarks, and he knows he can’t use the same name as an existing business, so he does a quick Google search and determines that no one in the Corpus Christi area is using their name, “Flying High.” Jill then creates a website, orders signs for the boat, and starts advertising under the name.
After a season of successful business off Mustang Island, Dave and Jill receive some devastating news. A company out of Panama City by the same name is moving into the area, and since that business has registered their trademark, they are within their legal rights to ask Dave and Jill to stop using the name. If they had partnered with a trademark attorney from the beginning, Dave and Jill would have learned of the business from Panama City in a comprehensive trademark search. They could have then created a different business name that did not infringe on an existing business. Contact Gerben Law Firm today to learn more about the trademark services provided by our experienced team.
Gerben Law Firm not only works with Corpus Christi businesses, we’ve also provided trademark assistance for businesses throughout Dallas, Arlington, Austin and Houston.