Since opening its doors in 2008, Gerben Law Firm has been helping clients register and protect their trademarks. The experienced trademark attorneys at Gerben Law Firm have successfully registered thousands of federal trademarks for clients all over the U.S., including those from Hershey, PA. Whether you plan to open a bagel shop on Chocolate Avenue or expand your manufacturing business just outside town, Gerben Law Firm’s team of expert trademark attorneys is ready to assist you in registering your trademark.
Federal Trademark Registration For Your Business
Top 5 Questions Hershey Businesses Have About Obtaining a Trademark
- What is a trademark?
- A trademark shows that a product or service is associated with a specific brand. Common trademarks include business names, logos, and slogans, but color schemes and even sounds can have trademark protection. Once a federal trademark registration has been obtained, the owner has the presumption of nationwide validity. Watch our Video.
- When should I file my trademark application?
- Begin the process to register your trademark as soon as possible. Ideally, trademark registration should be one of the very first actions you take when starting a business. Conduct a trademark search of your mark before you begin to use it, to ensure that a similar mark isn’t already in use. Then file your application with the USPTO. The date you file your application will become your priority date, which means anyone looking to file a similar mark after that date will not have the right to use it. Delaying trademark registration could be a costly and time-consuming mistake, if you learn you are infringing on another mark, or if someone moves to register your mark before you do.
- What is the USPTO?
- The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), a division of the Department of Commerce, reviews applications, then registers trademarks for products and services and grants patents for new inventions. They also maintain the records for trademarks and patents.
- What are International Classes, and how do I know which classes to select?
- The USPTO has 47 different groups of goods and services that your trademark may represent. Deciding which International Classes to file can be challenging. Include the goods or services in your application that you are currently offering, or have intent to offer in the near future. Consider working with a trademark attorney to determine which classes best match the goods or services you offer.
- When can I begin using the ® symbol?
- The ® symbol can only be used once your trademark registration has been approved by the USPTO. While your trademark application is pending, however, you are free to use the ™ symbol.
Common Misunderstandings about Filing Trademarks for Hershey Businesses
- I can’t afford to register my trademark.
- Many new business owners are budget conscious. While certain business costs are tempting to overlook as you begin to build your business, trademark registration should not be one of them. Failing to register your trademark could actually cost you more if you learn you are infringing on another business after you’ve branded your business, purchased labeling, and established a marketing campaign. Register your trademark with the USPTO to ensure your trademark is protected against infringement.
- Once I’ve registered my trademark, no one else can use it.
- It is possible for two brands to use the same trademark if there is no potential confusion between the products or services. Delta, for instance, is a well-known airline, but a faucet manufacturer also uses the business name Delta. Because they are not competitors, and therefore cannot be confused in the marketplace, both are free to use the trademark “Delta.”
- I applied to register my business name. That is enough to protect my business.
- Registering your business name is a good place to start, but it may not be enough to protect your brand. Consider anything that represents your brand to your customers. Product names, logos, slogans, and even color schemes may benefit from trademark registration. Obtaining registration for your business name alone could leave you open to infringement in other areas.
- The USPTO will enforce my trademark’s rights once it’s registered.
- The USPTO registers trademarks, but it does not monitor the use of the marks or enforce their exclusivity. That is the responsibility of the trademark owner. Once your mark is registered, work with your trademark attorney to monitor its use and take legal action if possible infringement is found.
The Number of Trademarks Registered by Hershey, PA Businesses (by Year)
How many trademarks have Hershey 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 Trademarks for Hershey Businesses
Hershey, Pennsylvania was founded by an entrepreneur who dreamed big, and that spirit certainly lives on in residents today. It can be seen in the revitalization of the downtown sector, and the explosion of restaurants and shops along Chocolate Avenue. If you’ve been inspired to start your own business, as well, be sure to work with an attorney to register your trademarks.
In an effort to save time and money, some small business owners choose to take the do-it-yourself approach to trademarks. After a quick Google search, they determine that the business name they’ve chosen is available, and move forward without hiring an attorney to conduct a trademark search or register the mark with the USPTO. While this DIY option seems like it saves the business owner time and money up front, the decision could cost the business in the end.
Consider this scenario: Julia has decided to leave her current job and follow her dream to open a salon near downtown Hershey. Because she plans to use only natural, plant based products in the salon, Julia decides on the name “Clean and Green.” She does a quick internet search of all the other salons in the area, and since no other competitors are using the same name, she assumes she’s free to use the name she’s chosen.
A proper trademark search, conducted by an attorney, would have revealed that a well-known hair care company sells a popular shampoo called “Green and Clean.” Though not an exact match, there is enough cause for confusion that Julia receives a cease and desist letter more than a year after her salon has opened and she’s developed customer recognition in the community. The money she saved in the beginning is now lost to rebranding her business and paying potential legal fees. If you plan to register your trademark, contact Gerben Law Firm to learn more about the services we offer.
Gerben Law Firm also services a range of clients / businesses North of Hershey, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania as well as South of Hershey, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Our Lancaster office staffs attorneys & paralegals.