Gerben Intellectual Property was founded in 2008, by trademark attorney Josh Gerben. Since that time, Gerben and his experienced team of attorneys have registered thousands of trademarks across the country, including the Fort Lauderdale area. We work with individuals and businesses of all sizes. Whether you plan to open a surf shop on Lauderdale Beach or expand your dental practice off Los Olas, Gerben Intellectual Property is ready to assist you in protecting your trademark with our services.
Gerben Intellectual Property is focused on offering top shelf services at a fraction of the cost of larger law firms. To do this, trademark lawyer Josh Gerben has developed an efficient system that allows him and other lawyers at the firm to work with each client individually at extremely competitive rates.
Federal Trademark Registration for Your Business
Common Questions about Obtaining & Protecting Trademarks
- How is a trademark different from a copyright or patent?
- While all three are forms of intellectual property, each represents a different aspect of your business. A trademark, for example, is anything that shows that a product or service is associated with a certain brand. Common trademarks include words, logos, and slogans, but even sounds, smells, and colors can also be protected with trademark registration. Copyrights, on the other hand, protect creative works, like novels, song lyrics, and paintings. Patents protect new and novel inventions.
- What is the USPTO?
- The United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, is a division of the Department of Commerce. They examine applications for trademarks and patents and make determinations about approval. They also maintain the records for registered patents and trademarks within the United States.
- Do I need to work with an attorney to register my trademark?
- The USPTO doesn’t require U.S. citizens to work with a trademark attorney, but they do encourage it. An experienced attorney can conduct a comprehensive trademark search, correctly complete and submit your trademark application, and even respond to non-substantive Office Actions on your behalf, which ensures the process runs smoothly from start to finish. Furthermore, working with an attorney could also increase your chances of approval. A study by the University of North Carolina found that trademark applications submitted with the help of a trademark attorney were up to 50% more likely to be approved by the USPTO.
- How do I know which International Classes I should file for?
- Determining which International Classes to include on your trademark application can be a challenging task. The USPTO offers detailed descriptions for each of the 47 classes, but deciding which classes best match the goods or services you plan to offer is not always obvious. The attorneys at Gerben Intellectual Property can assist you in selecting the right classes for your trademark.
Typical Misconceptions about Filing Trademarks for Fort Lauderdale Businesses
- I don’t need to register my trademark with the USPTO to have trademark protections.
- Because the United States is a common law country, you will have some trademark protections once you begin using the mark in public, even if it has not been registered. These protections, however, are extremely limited. For instance, you could have a more difficult time asserting your trademark rights in court. In addition, common law protections will only protect your mark in the small region where your business is based. If you plan to expand your business outside South Florida in the future, you could face challenges if a similar mark is already in use there. In order to have the presumption of validity nationwide, you need to register your trademark with the USPTO.
- I registered my business name, so my brand is fully protected.
- While registering your business name is an important step in protecting your business, it may not be enough to fully protect your brand. A trademark is anything that represents your brand in the marketplace. Consider obtaining trademark registration for your product names, logo, slogan, or even signature color. Work with an experienced trademark attorney to determine which aspects of your business should be protected by trademark registration.
- Once I trademark a word, no one else can register it for themselves.
- This is not necessarily true. Another individual or business owner may be able to register the same word, as long as it would not cause a likelihood of confusion in the marketplace. For example, both Delta Airlines and Delta Faucets were both able to register the trademark ‘Delta’ because consumers are unlikely to confuse the two companies or their products or services.
- I can do a Google search instead of a comprehensive trademark search to save some money.
- A basic internet search may seem like a great budget friendly option, but it will not be comprehensive enough to determine whether your mark is available for registration. Most search engines, including Google, will only return exact matches to your trademark. Many trademark disputes, however, don’t arise from exact matches, but rather any mark that may be confusingly similar. Trademark attorneys use sophisticated software to conduct a trademark search, revealing not only exact matches to your mark, but similar matches as well.
- The symbols “TM” and “®” mean the same thing.
- These symbols each represent a trademark at different stages of registration. The ® symbol shows that a trademark has been federally registered. Do not use this symbol until your mark has been approved by the USPTO, because it is a violation of federal law and could result in your trademark application being cancelled. Until your trademark has been approved, you are free to use the ™ symbol.
The Number of Trademarks Registered in Fort Lauderdale
Utilizing the USPTO’s search database we’re able to report on how many trademarks have been registered in Fort Lauderdale, FL by year.
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Gerben IP Offers A Full Suite of Trademark Services
Understanding the Importance of Trademark Registration in
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
With beautiful weather all year long and a booming economy, Fort Lauderdale is a great place for entrepreneurs. New businesses are popping up all over the city, catering to tourists and full time residents alike. If you are thinking of opening your own business in Fort Lauderdale, you are probably focused on how to build your brand. Don’t forget to protect that brand (start up) through trademark registration.
Imagine this scenario: Ashley is a fashion lover and new mom, and a trip to the beach with her young daughter inspires her to create her own line of fun infant and toddler bathing suits and accessories. She begins sketching her designs and staying up late to sew the products, and starts selling the line, Sea Babies, at boutiques from West Palm Beach to Miami. Ashley’s Instagram account, where she shows off her suits and accessories, grows a large following as well. She’s heard of trademark registration, but decides she’ll wait until the business is bigger to consider the process.
One Instagram user that happens upon Ashley’s account is a designer from California. She also has a bathing suit line for children with the same name (learn about costs associated with trademarking a clothing brand), and because she registered her trademark with the USPTO, she is well within her rights to ask Ashley to stop selling her products under that name. Now, Ashley must rebrand her business, a costly and time consuming effort which could also lose her customers.
By working with a trademark attorney, even small businesses like Ashley’s can benefit from trademark registration early on. Contact Gerben Intellectual Property to learn more about our trademark registration and monitoring services.