*Please note that while Gerben Law Firm is not located in Michigan, it can assist businesses from Michigan in registering a federal trademark because it is a federal matter.
Trademark attorney Josh Gerben founded Gerben Law Firm in 2008. Since that time, Gerben, along with his team of experienced attorneys, have registered thousands of trademarks for clients in all fifty states, including Michigan. Gerben Law Firm works with individuals and businesses of all sizes. Whether you want to sell your products at the Eastern Market or you are looking to grow your engineering firm in Ann Arbor, Gerben Law Firm is ready to assist you.
Federal Trademark Registration for Your Detroit Business
Testimonials from Our Clients in the Detroit Region
“I was really excited about trademarking “healthy dollar” and “holla” but did not know where to turn.
Someone suggested Josh Gerben, and it was all gravy from then on.
Not only was Josh very professional, he was personable and nice as well.
He met all deadlines, kept his word on pricing, and my certificates were delivered on time.
Josh is great.”
– Kathy Jackson
Healthy Dollar Store – Near Detroit, Michigan
Top 5 Questions Detroit Businesses Have About Obtaining / Protecting a Trademark
- How is a trademark different from a copyright?
- While both trademarks and copyrights are forms of intellectual property, they protect different things. A trademark is anything that represents your brand, including business or product names, slogans, and logos. A copyright, on the other hand, protects creative works, like music, artwork, and novels.
- Why do I need to register my trademark?
- Your trademark will have some limited protections as soon as you start to use it in the marketplace, but you could face challenges in the future. For instance, you would only be protected in your region, which could restrict you from expanding outside Michigan if a similar mark is being used somewhere else. You’ll also have a harder time asserting your trademark rights in legal proceedings. In order to gain the presumption of nationwide validity, you need to register your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO.
- How long does it take to register a trademark?
- The typical trademark registration process takes about 8-10 on average. In some cases, however, it can take a year or more to gain approval from the USPTO. Fortunately, you will have some protections while your application is pending. The date you submit your application will become your priority date, which means anyone looking to file a similar mark after that date will likely be rejected. Consider beginning the registration process as soon as possible to lock in your priority date now.
- Does hiring a trademark attorney increase my chance of approval?
- Working with an experienced trademark attorney will increase your chance of approval. Your comprehensive trademark search will alert you to any potential conflicts, and the legal advice you receive throughout the process will ensure it runs smoothly. In fact, a recent study proves this. The University of North Carolina found that applications submitted with the help of an attorney increased the likelihood of approval up to fifty percent!
- What is an Office Action?
- An Office Action is a notice issued by the USPTO throughout the registration process. Typically, these Office Actions are sent to request additional information, clarify details of the application, or notify you that your mark has been rejected. If you receive an Office Action, it is critical that you respond appropriately, and by the deadline set by the USPTO.
Common Misunderstandings about Filing Trademarks for Detroit Businesses
- I should register my competitor’s name so they can no longer use it.
- Filing a trademark registration with ill intent is a fraud, and could lead to your application being cancelled. In addition, if your competitor is using the mark in the marketplace, they likely have some common law rights to it. Contact a trademark attorney to determine whether the mark you plan to register is available for use.
- My federally registered trademark will protect me in international trademark disputes.
- Unfortunately, a trademark registered in the U.S. will only protect you in disputes that arise within the United States. If you need trademark protection in other countries, you should register your trademark in those countries. You can do so either by submitting an application directly to the country’s trademark office, or by using the Madrid Protocol. This international treaty will allow you to file a single application which can then be submitted to over 90 member countries. Each country will then make its own determination about trademark approval.
- The USPTO will let me know if someone is using my mark without my permission.
- The USPTO will examine your application and determine whether or not to approve it. They will not, however, monitor your trademark’s use. As a registered trademark owner, that responsibility falls on you. Fortunately, Gerben Law Firm offers services to assist you with trademark monitoring, and we can work with you to take legal action if potential infringement is found.
- The symbols “TM” and “®” mean the same thing.
- These symbols are not interchangeable. Use the ™ symbol until your application has been approved by the USPTO. After that, you can begin using the ® symbol. It’s important to note, however, that using ® before your mark has been approved is a violation of federal law and could be grounds for rejection of your trademark.
The Number of Trademarks Registered by Detroit Businesses (by Year)
How many trademarks have Detroit, MI businesses registered over the years? Gerben Law Firm collected the following data.
|Year||# of Trademarks Registered|
*data was gathered from the USPTO’s public database
Types of Trademark Services offered to Detroit, MI Clients
Additional Information on Trademark Registration for Detroit Businesses
The Motor City is in the middle of a revitalization, and businesses are continuing to open in and around the area. As you consider starting your own Detroit business, it’s important to understand just how critical trademark registration is, even for small businesses.
Consider this: Megan is a graphic designer who wants to use her talents to run a side business for extra income. She decides to invest in a screen printing machine and plans to print tee shirts and totes to sell at local boutiques. Megan chooses the business name Weekend Threads and gets to work designing her line of products. She’s heard of trademark registration, but ultimately decides her business is just too small to justify the cost.
After a year of successful sales around Detroit, Megan is shocked to receive a cease-and-desist letter in the mail. A company by the same name is expanding to the Midwest, and because they registered their trademark, they are within their rights to ask Megan to stop using the name. Now she is forced to pull her products from local boutiques and rebrand the business. Not only is this a costly and time consuming consequence, the customer loyalty she’s built over the last year is now in jeopardy.
Even small businesses like Megan’s can benefit from trademark registration. Contact Gerben Law Firm today to learn more about our reasonable, flat rate trademark registration services.