*Please note that Gerben Law Firm is not located in California, however it can assist businesses from California in registering a federal trademark because it is a federal matter.
Gerben Law Firm was founded by trademark attorney Josh Gerben in 2008. Since that time, Gerben and his team of experienced trademark attorneys have helped thousands of clients register their trademarks. We work with individuals and businesses of all sizes across the country, including the Fresno area. Whether you want to open a deli in Woodward Park or expand your engineering firm in Kingsburg, Gerben Law Firm is ready to assist you.
Federal Trademark Registration for Your Business in Fresno
Top 4 Questions Fresno Businesses Have About Obtaining / Protecting a Trademark
- What is a trademark?
- A trademark is anything that indicates if a particular good or service is associated with a specific brand. Business names, product names, logos, and slogans are common trademarks, but even non-traditional trademarks like sounds and smells can be registered if they represent your brand.
- Why do I need to register my trademark with the USPTO?
- The United States is a first-to-use country, which means you will have some limited common law rights as soon as you use your trademark, even if it hasn’t been registered. However, these rights may not be enough to protect your brand moving forward. For instance, you would only be protected in the region your business is located. If your future plans include expanding outside the Fresno area, you could face infringement issues if your mark is in use in that area. You’ll also have a harder time asserting your trademark rights in legal proceedings. In order to gain the presumption of validity in all fifty states, you need to register you trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO. Read more about why you should register your trademark here.
- Does hiring a trademark attorney increase my chance of approval?
- Yes! Hiring a trademark attorney can increase your chances of approval. In fact, a recent study by the University of North Carolina found that trademark applications submitted with the help of an attorney increased the likelihood of approval by up to 50%. To find out how an attorney can help your business through the trademark registration process, read this post.
- How long does it take to register a trademark?
- It typically takes around 8-10 months to register a trademark, though in some cases, it may take a year or more. Fortunately, you will gain an important protection as soon as you file your application. The date you file will become your priority date, which means anyone looking to file a similar mark after you will likely not be approved.
Common Misunderstandings about Filing Trademarks for Fresno Businesses
- All intellectual property is essentially the same.
- The three main types of intellectual property protect different things. Trademarks protect anything that represents your brand, including business names, logos, and slogans. Copyrights, on the other hand, protect creative works like novels, music, and art, while patents protect inventions. If you aren’t sure what type of intellectual property you need, contact Gerben Law Firm.
- The USPTO will do a search when I file my application, so I don’t need to do one beforehand.
- An examiner at the USPTO will conduct a search of your trademark, but only after you’ve submitted your application and paid your filing fees. If the examiner finds a similar mark is already in use, your application could be rejected and your fees lost. Work with your trademark attorney to conduct a search prior to submitting your application. If you find a similar trademark, you can then make the necessary changes before it goes to the USPTO.
- I should file for as many international classes as possible.
- Filing for too many international classes could cause your trademark application to be rejected. You’ll also pay significantly more, as filing fees are determined based on the number of classes you select. It’s best to select only the classes that represent goods or services you currently offer or plan to offer in the near future. Read more about international classes here.
- My registered trademark will protect me in international trademark disputes.
- Your federally registered trademark will provide valuable protections, but only in disputes that arise within the United States. If you do business outside the U.S., either through sales, manufacturing, or distribution, you should strongly consider trademark registration in those countries as well.
- I can begin using the ® symbol as soon as I file my application with the USPTO.
- The trademark registration symbol ® indicates that your trademark has been registered with the USPTO. You are prohibited from using the symbol until your mark has been registered. However, while your application is pending, you are free to use the ™ symbol.
The Number of Trademarks Registered by Fresno Businesses (by Year)
How many trademarks have Fresno, CA 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 Fresno Businesses
Business ownership is on the rise across the United States, including the Fresno area. If you are considering starting a business of your own, you likely have a lot of questions, from where to set up shop to whether or not a registered trademark is really that important. As you get to work developing a business plan, it’s important to know just how important trademark registration really is.
Consider this scenario: Joanna has always dreamed of owning her own bookstore, and when the perfect location in Clovis becomes available, she jumps on the opportunity. From buying inventory to hiring employees, her to-do list seems never ending. Joanna knows that trademark registration is important, but since no one else in the Fresno area is using her business name, Hometown Books, she decides to put off registration until things settle down at the store.
Unfortunately, Joanna’s decision has some costly consequences. A year after her bookstore opens, she is shocked to find a cease-and-desist letter in the mail. A large bookseller by the same name has been doing business in San Diego and now plans to move into the Fresno area. Because they registered the trademark, they are well within their legal rights to ask Joanna to close up her shop until she rebrands the business, which takes significantly more time and money than it would have taken to conduct a search and complete trademark registration from the beginning. Contact Gerben Law Firm today to begin the process of registering your trademark and protecting your business.