*Please note that while Gerben Law Firm is not located in Indiana, it can assist businesses from Indiana in registering a federal trademark because it is a federal matter.
Since opening its doors in 2008, the trademark attorneys at Gerben Law Firm have been helping clients register and protect their trademarks. Gerben Law Firm has successfully registered thousands of federal trademarks for clients all over the United States, including Indianapolis. Whether you plan to open a deli in Carmel or expand your tech business in Fishers, 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 4 Questions Indianapolis Businesses Have About Obtaining a Trademark
- What is a trademark?
- A trademark shows that a product or service is associated with a specific company or brand. It commonly protects words, logos, or slogans, but a trademark can also protect colors or sounds. Once a business obtains a federal trademark registration, it owns the federal presumption of validity on the mark. Trademarks can be renewed indefinitely, as long as the goods or services associated with the trademark continue to be offered in the marketplace.
- When should I file my trademark application?
- Ideally, the registration process should be one of the first actions you take when starting a business. A trademark search should be completed before you finalize your selection of a name, logo, or slogan. If not, you may find out that you are infringing on an existing business’s mark after you’ve invested time and money in branding your business. In addition, in most cases, the date you file for your trademark application becomes your priority date nationwide. This means that anyone that files for a similar mark after your priority date will not have the rights to use it
- Does hiring a trademark attorney increase my chance of approval?
- Yes, hiring a trademark attorney may increase the chances of your trademark being approved. An experienced trademark attorney will be able to do a comprehensive trademark search and provide you with professional advice throughout the process. According to a study by the University of North Carolina, trademark applications submitted with the help of an attorney increased the chances of approval by 50%.
- How do I know in which class(es) I should file my trademark?
- It can be challenging to determine the classes to file your trademark. It is important to focus on the goods or services you are currently offering or plan to offer in the near future. The trademark attorneys at Gerben Law Firm can help you determine the classes best suited for your trademark application.
Common Misunderstandings about Filing Trademarks for Indianapolis Businesses
- I can’t afford to register my trademark.
- It’s understandable that money can be tight when opening a new business. In many cases, however, you can’t afford not to register your trademark. If you’ve invested time and money into your business, you want to know that your brand is protected. If you choose not to register your trademark you could run into situations where the cost of enforcing or defending your trademark is significantly more expensive than if you had just proactively registered your trademark.
- It’s easy to register a trademark, so a “do-it-yourself” legal website is just as effective as hiring an attorney.
- Filing for a trademark is a complicated process that requires many significant legal decisions to be made. While do-it-yourself websites may seem like a fast, affordable option, they tend to gloss over important legal decisions (since they are unable to provide legal advice). This could lead to a rejection of your trademark application and/or a registration that is insufficient in some way. An experienced trademark attorney can assist you in making critical decisions throughout the process to ensure your trademark rights are strong and as broad as possible.
- If I have a federal trademark registration on a word, I should have rights to the domain name as well.
- This is not always the case. It is possible for two businesses in different industries to have similar trademarks. For example, United Airlines and United Healthcare have similar trademarks in different industries (either one could own united.com—in this case the Airline owns the domain). With that said, sometimes it is possible to recapture a domain owned by a squatter via domain dispute. The attorneys at Gerben Law Firm have experience navigating the domain dispute and UDRP process. We can help you evaluate legal options if you find yourself in a situation where someone else owns a critical domain for your brand.
- It only takes one trademark filing to cover all my trademarks.
- A trademark application only covers a single trademark. Businesses often have several marks to register. For instance, a name, a slogan, and a logo would require three different filings. The trademark attorneys at Gerben Law Firm will help you identify how many trademark applications you should file to protect your business.
- The symbols “TM” and “®” mean the same thing.
- The trademark registration symbol ® indicates that your trademark has been federally registered. While your application is being approved by the USPTO, you are allowed to use the TM symbol. Using the ® prior to obtaining your federal trademark registration is a violation of federal law in the United States. The USPTO may reject your trademark application if you are improperly using the registered trademark symbol.
The Number of Trademarks Registered by Indianapolis Businesses (by Year)
How many trademarks have Indianapolis, Indiana 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 offered to Indianapolis, IN Clients
Additional Information on Trademark Registration for Indianapolis Businesses
From racing to football, museums to microbreweries, Indianapolis has something for everyone. It’s this diversity of interests and cultures that drives entrepreneurs to the city and surrounding areas. New business owners are often working with a tight budget, and some may forgo filing for a trademark. This decision may seem cost effective in the short term, but it could cost them even more later on.
Consider this scenario: Melanie has lived in Broad Ripple for a few years. Every morning as she runs on the Monon Rail Trail, Melanie notices the number of residents with dogs. Seeing a need, she quits her job and decides to open up a mobile pet grooming business. In an effort to save money, Melanie opts to do a quick internet search to see if any other businesses are using her chosen name, Pet Bliss Grooming When the search reveals no competitors by that name, she creates a logo, customizes a grooming van, and begins passing out flyers to the dog owners she meets.
Unfortunately, while Melanie’s internet search showed no one with a similar name, she did not search for similar trademarks. In this case, a local veterinarian clinic called Bliss Veterinarian Clinic in the Speedway area has federally registered its trademark because it has begun to franchise nationwide. Only a few months after opening up, Melanie receives a demand letter from the clinic, and, she has a choice to face potential legal action or to re-name her business. This is a costly mistake that could have been avoided if she’d worked with a trademark attorney and completed a comprehensive trademark search before she invested additional money into her business.
If you are opening a new business or expanding an existing one, consider contacting the attorneys at Gerben Law Firm for a complimentary trademark consultation today.