Gerben Law Firm was established in 2008 by trademark lawyer Josh Gerben. Since opening its doors, the attorneys at Gerben Law Firm have successfully registered over 5,000 trademarks for clients from all 50 states, including Pennsylvania. Whether you plan to open a salon in Midtown or you hope to expand your engineering firm to other parts of Dauphin County, Gerben Law Firm can provide you professional federal trademark representation.
Federal Trademark Registration For Your Business
Common Questions Harrisburg Businesses Have About Obtaining a Trademark
- How is a trademark different than a copyright?
- A trademark protects anything that indicates that a certain product or service is associated with a specific brand. Common trademarks include words, phrases, logos, or slogans. A copyright, on the other hand, protects works of authorship, which could include books, music, and artwork not representative of a specific business.
- Why should I hire a trademark attorney?
- Business owners often begin the trademark registration on their own, only to find that it is much more complicated than they assumed. They may find that they spend more time and money to correct and re-file their application than they would have if they had worked with an attorney from the beginning. The experienced trademark attorneys at Gerben Law Firm will ensure that the process runs smoothly and professionally from start to finish.
- Should I wait until I begin business operations to file my trademark registration?
- In short, no. In order to protect your business, you should file a trademark registration well before you begin business operations. Once you’ve decided on a business name or logo, and you’ve conducted a search to be sure it isn’t already in use, you should file your application as soon as possible. Failing to do so early on could result in finding out that your trademark infringes on another business, leading to costly changes and legal fees.
- How long is the process to register a trademark?
- The process to register a trademark typically takes around 8-10 months from start to finish, though in some situations, it may take a year or more. Fortunately, the date you file your application will become your priority date. This means that no one will be able to file a confusingly similar trademark after that date. This is another reason to file your trademark application as soon as possible.
Common Confusion Surrounding Filing Trademarks
- I only need one trademark filing to cover all of my trademarks.
- A trademark application will only cover a single trademark. Depending on your business, you likely have several trademarks. For example, a business name, logo, and slogan could require three different filings to cover the three distinct marks. The trademark attorneys at Gerben Law Firm can assist you in identifying how which aspects of your business require protection through trademark registration.
- I heard I have some trademark protections just by using it, so I don’t really need to register with the USPTO.
- While it is true that you have common law protections simply by using your mark in the marketplace, those protections are extremely limited. For instance, they only protect you from infringement in the small geographic region where your business is located. Common law rights are also much more challenging to uphold in court. In order to have the presumption of validity nationwide, you should register your trademark with the USPTO.
- I should register in as many international classes as possible.
- If you file a trademark for multiple classes, this could lead to your application being denied or make your registration susceptible to challenges based on fraud. Limit your application to the goods and services that will be provided within the next three years. Working with an experienced trademark attorney can help you to draft your application for your specific needs, which saves you time and money in the long run.
- The USPTO conducts a trademark search, so I don’t really need to do a search before filing.
- If an examiner at the USPTO finds a confusingly similar trademark is already in use, your application could be rejected, and your filing fee lost. Conduct a comprehensive trademark search prior to submitting your application and paying your fees to the USPTO. This way, if you learn of a similar existing mark, you can make the necessary changes before filing.
- The symbols “™” and “®” mean the same thing.
- Use of the trademark registration symbol ® indicates that your trademark is federally registered. You are allowed to use the ™ symbol until your trademark application has been approved by the USPTO. Using the ® prior to obtaining your federal trademark registration is a violation of federal law. If the USPTO sees that you are using this symbol, the examiner handling your application will reject your trademark application on grounds you are improperly using the registered trademark symbol.
The Number of Trademarks Registered by Harrisburg, PA Businesses (by Year)
How many trademarks have Harrisburg 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
Considering Trademark Services As A Harrisburg Area Business
When opening a new business, owners often focus solely on product development and marketing, leaving little time or money for trademark registration. In your business plan, filing for trademark registration might seem like a low priority, but you need to consider the risks of growing your business without these valuable protections in place.
Consider this scenario: Max has always wanted to open a diner in Harrisburg, like the kind his grandparents owned in Philadelphia. He finds the perfect spot in Midtown and decides to pursue his dream. He’s heard about trademarks, and knows it’s important to avoid using the same name as another business, so Max does a quick Google search with the name he’s chosen, Maxwell’s Mug.
When he can’t find another diner using the name, Max moves forward, hanging his sign, printing his menus, and adding his logo throughout the restaurant. Just weeks after his successful grand opening, Max receives a cease-and-desist letter. While his simple trademark search showed no one was using the name Maxwell’s Mug, it failed to reveal the confusingly similar name of a popular food truck in town, The Mug. Now, Max is forced to close the business and invest even more time and money on rebranding his diner.
By working with a trademark attorney to register a trademark, even small business owners like Max can have peace of mind to move forward, knowing they can invest in their businesses without the risk of future infringement. Contact Gerben Law Firm’s experienced trademark attorneys today to begin the process of filing for trademark registration.