*Please note that Gerben Law Firm is not located in Texas, however it can assist businesses from Texas 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. We have clients in all fifty states, including Texas. Whether you want to open your own barber shop in Castner Heights or grow your concrete company near Fort Bliss, Gerben Law Firm is ready to assist you.
Federal Trademark Registration for Your Business in El Paso
Top Questions Businesses Have About Obtaining & Protecting a Trademark
- What is a trademark?
- A trademark is anything that indicates a certain product or service is associated with a specific brand. Things like business and product names, logos, and slogans are common trademarks, but many business owners register sounds, colors, and even smells for trademark protection.
- Do I need to register my trademark?
- The United States is a common law country, which means you will have some limited trademark protections as soon as you use the mark, whether it’s registered or not. It’s important to know, however, just how limiting these protections are. For instance, your mark will only be protected in the El Paso region. If you plan to expand outside the area, you could face infringement issues if another business is using a similar mark there. You’ll also find it more challenging to assert your legal rights in court. In order to gain full trademark rights and the presumption of nationwide validity, it’s important to register your mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO.
- Am I required to work with an attorney for trademark registration?
- The USPTO does not require U.S. citizens to work with a trademark attorney, but they strongly encourage it. This is because of the many detailed legal decisions that need to be made throughout the process. Working with a trademark attorney ensures the process runs smoothly, and that communications with the USPTO are appropriate and timely. Your attorney will also likely increase your chances of approval, according to a study by the University of North Carolina. Researchers found that applications submitted with the help of a trademark attorney were 50% more likely to be approved.
- What are International Classes?
- The USPTO has 45 different classes to represent a wide number of goods and services. As you complete your trademark application, you will need to select the classes that best represent the goods and services you plan to offer under your trademark.
- How do I know which International Classes to select?
- This can be a challenging task. Selecting too few classes could limit your trademark protections significantly, but too many classes could cause your application to be rejected. Work with an experienced attorney to select only the classes that represent goods or services you currently offer or plan to offer in the very near future.
Common Misunderstandings about Filing Trademarks for El Paso Businesses
- All forms of intellectual property are basically the same.
- The three main types of intellectual property protect different things and are not interchangeable. Trademarks protect things like business names, logos, and slogans. Copyrights, on the other hand, protect creative works, including music, novels, and art, while patents protect inventions. If you are unsure which protections your IP needs, contact a trademark attorney.
- Another business is using my trademark, so I will not be able to register it myself.
- This is not necessarily true. Two businesses can, in fact, have the same trademark, as long as there is no likelihood of confusion in the marketplace. Consider Delta, for instance. This trademark represents a major airline as well as a leading faucet manufacturer. Because customers are unlikely to confuse the two businesses, both are free to use the Delta trademark. Contact a trademark attorney to determine the availability of the mark you wish to register.
- It only takes one trademark to protect my brand.
- Most business owners need more than one trademark to protect their business. Consider everything that represents your brand, including your business and product names, you logo, and perhaps even a signature color. Learn more about what can & cannot be trademarked.
- Once my trademark is registered, I don’t have any need for a trademark attorney.
- Trademark attorneys provide valuable services even after your trademark has been registered. Most offer monitoring services, which will notify you of any potential infringement. Once infringement has been found, your attorney will also develop a course of action to stop it. In many cases, a cease-and-desist letter drafted by your attorney is enough to stop the infringement, but sometimes, more formal legal proceedings are necessary. Speak with your attorney about monitoring and enforcement services.
The Number of Trademarks Registered by El Paso Businesses (by Year)
How many trademarks have El Paso, 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 El Paso Businesses
It’s understandable that new business owners in El Paso are focused on their budgets. From signing a rental lease to purchasing products and hiring employees, the expenses can seem never ending. Some business owners, in an effort to save money, conduct a do-it-yourself trademark search. While a DIY search seems like a fast and inexpensive alternative to hiring a trademark attorney, many business owners end up spending more in the long run.
Consider this scenario: Brothers Tom and Matt decide to start their own electrical contracting company after years of working for someone else. They know they should avoid infringing on someone else’s trademark, but money is tight, so they opt to simply Google the name of their business, Lightning Electrical. Seeing no one with that name in El Paso, the brothers create a website and wrap their work vans in the company’s name and logo, a large red circle with a white lightning bolt through the middle.
While their quick search revealed no matching business names in the area, they failed to search for logos. A well-known company in Las Cruces, Skyway Electrical, uses a very similar logo to represent them. The owners of Skyway Electrical trademarked their logo, and when they find out about the prominently displayed logos on the brothers’ vans, they send a cease-and-desist letter. Now Tom and Matt must spend additional time and money rebranding their business.
Gerben Law Firm offers reasonable, flat rate trademark services for your business. Contact us today to learn more about the importance of protecting your brand through trademark registration.