*Please note that Gerben Law Firm is not located in Hawaii, however it can assist businesses from Hawaii 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 have registered trademarks for thousands of clients across the country, including Hawaii. Gerben Law Firm’s team of experienced attorneys work with individuals and businesses of all sizes, so whether you want to open a surf shop in Waikiki or a large hotel in Ewa Beach, we’re ready to assist you.
Federal Trademark Registration for Your Honolulu Business
Top 4 Questions Honolulu Businesses Have About Obtaining / Protecting a Trademark
- What aspects of my business need trademark protection?
- A trademark is anything that indicates your product or service is associated with your brand. Business and product names are the most common trademarks, but don’t overlook logos, slogans, or even signature colors. If it represents your brand, you should consider trademark protection.
- How does a trademark protect my business?
- A trademark registered by the USPTO will give your mark the presumption of validity nationwide. This means that you are free to do business in all fifty states without the fear or potential of infringing on another business. Your trademark will also be protected from infringement by others. You will have the right to take legal action if potential infringement is found.
- When should I file my trademark application?
- Ideally, trademark registration should be one of the first steps you take in planning your business. Before you invest time and money in building your business, you’ll want to be sure that your business is protected through trademark registration. In addition, 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 be approved. The sooner you register your trademark, the sooner you lock in your priority date and gain protections against infringement. To learn more about how to file a trademark, go here.
- What is the USPTO?
- The United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, is a division of the Department of Commerce. The USPTO reviews applications and registers trademarks for products and services. They also grant patents for new inventions and maintain the records for both trademarks and patents.
Common Misunderstandings about Filing Trademarks for Honolulu Businesses
- Trademarks, copyrights, and patents are essentially the same.
- The terms trademark, copyright, and patent are not interchangeable. A trademark protects things that represent a brand, including product names, logos, and slogans, while copyrights protect works of authorship, like art and music, and patents protect inventions. If you are unsure what protections you need for your intellectual property, contact Gerben Law Firm.
- Trademark registration is easy, so a DIY site is just as effective as working with an attorney.
- The trademark registration process is complex, and involves many detailed legal decisions along the way. While there are several legal sites advertising DIY trademark registration, this is not the best or most effective strategy. One reason is the trademark search. These sites typically only reveal exact matches to your mark, but trademark disputes usually arise, not from exact matches, but from any mark that could be confusingly similar. Trademark attorneys use a more comprehensive software that will alert you to all possible matches. Working with an attorney will also increase your chances of approval. In fact, a study by the University of North Carolina found that trademark applications submitted with the help of an attorney are 50% more likely to be approved.
- If another business is using a trademark, I will not be able to use it.
- This is not necessarily true. The USPTO will reject any mark that could cause a likelihood of confusion in the marketplace. If there’s little chance of confusion, however, you may still be able to use the mark. For example, Delta Airlines and Delta Faucets are both able to use the trademark ‘Delta’ because the likelihood that consumers would confuse the two brands is very small. Contact Gerben Law Firm to determine if the mark you plan to use is available.
- The USPTO will let me know if someone is trying to use my trademark.
- The USPTO will register your mark, but they will not monitor its use. This is the responsibility of the trademark owner. Fortunately, many trademark attorneys offer monitoring services to assist with the monitoring process. They will also work with you to stop infringement if it is found.
- I can’t afford to register my trademark.
- In many cases, you can’t afford not to register your mark. Trademark registration may seem like a costly process, but it is far less than the cost to rebrand your business if you find you’ve been infringing on another brand. Gerben Law Firm offers reasonable, flat rate trademark registration to ensure your business is protected.
The Number of Trademarks Registered by Honolulu Businesses (by Year)
How many trademarks have Honolulu, HI 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 Honolulu Businesses
Steady tourism and an increasing full-time population make Honolulu a great place to open a new business. If you are considering opening your own business on the island, you are probably focused on product development, location, and marketing. Those are all essential to your success, but don’t overlook the importance of trademark registration.
Consider this scenario: Rob loves eating healthy and creating unique and delicious smoothies. Eventually, his friends and family convince him to turn his passion into a business, and Rob decides to open a mobile smoothie shop to serve beachgoers around Honolulu. He finds the perfect bus to transform in the Smoothie Bus and gets to work branding his business. He wraps his bus in logos and buys branded cups and napkins too. Rob’s all set to open his new venture when he gets some upsetting news.
A business on the Big Island has been selling frozen treats from a bus for over a year. Since the owners of that Smoothie Bus registered their name with the USPTO, they are well within their rights to ask Rob to delay his opening and rebrand his business. Don’t put off trademark registration. Contact Gerben Law Firm today to get started protecting your brand!