*Please note that while Gerben Law Firm is not located in Kentucky, it can assist Louisville individuals and businesses in registering a federal trademark because this is a federal matter.
Gerben Law Firm, PLLC is a trademark law firm established by trademark attorney, Josh Gerben. Founded in 2008, this boutique trademark law firm is dedicated to representing a variety of clients throughout the United States, including Louisville. The firm specializes in providing top-notch trademark services, including assistance with trademark filing, trademark applications, and trademark searches. Additionally, trademark monitoring and renewal services are also available.
One of the advantages of working with Gerben Law Firm is that you will receive high quality legal services while paying a fraction of the cost that the majority of larger law firms charge. This is made possible because Josh Gerben has created an efficient law firm model that enables the law firm to provide individualized services at competitive rates.
Federal Trademark Registration For Your Business
Top 5 Questions Louisville Businesses Have About Protecting a Trademark
- What is a trademark?
- The purpose of filing a federal trademark application is to protect names, words, colors, sounds, and symbols. To put it simply, a trademark is used to specify that a particular product or service is associated with a specific brand or company. For example, the McDonald’s logo with the double arches and the Nike slogan of “Just Do It” are two existing trademarks that you likely encounter on a regular basis.
- What kind of protection does a trademark provide?
- Once an individual or business has obtained a federal trademark registration, the owner is provided with the presumption of validity for that trademark throughout the United States. Essentially, this means that no one else can use the specified name, words, colors, sounds, or symbols for a similar type of product or service in this country. The trademark registration can then continue to be renewed indefinitely, as long as the goods and/or services are still available. You cannot stop selling a product or offering a service and maintain the trademark registration forever – it must continue to be offered in the marketplace.
- Why should I hire a trademark attorney?
- To put it simply, hiring a trademark attorney can make the process run smoother, quicker, and cheaper. Gerben Law Firm has encountered many individuals and small businesses over the years who did not want to spend the extra money on hiring a trademark attorney to help them obtain their first trademark. While doing it on your own may seem like a cost-saving tactic initially, it can actually end up costing you even more down the road. Gerben Law Firm has helped many clients fix and re-file their trademark applications, which could have been avoided if they had consulted with an experienced trademark attorney from the start. Plus, research has revealed that trademark applications submitted with the assistance of a lawyer are 50% more likely to be approved by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
- When should I start the process of registering a trademark?
- To help prevent future headaches, the trademark registration process should be initiated as soon as possible. First, a trademark search needs to be conducted before you actually settle on a name or logo for your business or product. The last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time and money on marketing or packaging pieces, only to find out that you are infringing on another trademark. If nothing is found during the search, then you can move forward with the actual federal trademark application. You want to get this in quickly because the date on your application submitted to the USPTO becomes your priority date on the trademark.
- Can I get away with just one federal trademark application?
- Yes, and no. If you want to obtain a federal trademark for both your company name and logo, you will have to submit two different applications. However, many small businesses and individuals who are applying for their first trademark are typically working with limited budgets. If you are not able to cover the costs for both applications at the beginning, you can start by just registering your company name. Any logo designs that you start using won’t be protected as federally registered trademarks, but there are common law trademark rights that can help protect an unregistered logo.
Common Misconceptions about Filing Trademarks for Louisville Businesses
- I registered my business in Kentucky, so I don’t need to file for a federal trademark.
- If you have formed a business entity in the state of Kentucky such as a corporation or LLC you will have likely run a name check with the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office to ensure no one else has registered a business with an identical name. Essentially, this ensures that no one else can use an identical name for a corporation or LLC that is formed in Kentucky. However, this provides absolutely no clearance to use the name and certainly no protection on the name. Before adopting and using any name for your business you should complete a federal, state and common law trademark search. This is the only way to know if the name you have selected is clear to use.
- My trademark search didn’t turn up anything, so my trademark application should be approved in no time.
- Actually, it typically takes around 8-10 months to complete the trademark registration process. After a federal trademark application is thoroughly completed and filed, everything has to be reviewed by an examining attorney. Even if no issues are found, it can still take a year or more for the trademark registration to be finalized. This is precisely why it helps to have a trademark attorney complete and file your application. An attorney can get all of the technical details correct the first time so you don’t have to spend additional time on correcting and re-filing your trademark application.
- The terms trademark, copyright, and patents can all mean the same thing.
- Trademarks, copyrights, and patents are all unique, and these terms cannot be used interchangeably. Trademarks cover items like product/service names, company names, slogans, and logos. Copyrights protect works of authorship, while patents safeguard inventions.
- I can go ahead and use the symbols “TM” and “®” since they mean the same thing.
- These two symbols actually have different and very important meanings. The trademark registration symbol ® indicates that you have a federally registered trademark. Use of the TM symbol is allowed until your trademark application has been approved. It is important to note that use of the ® before your trademark application has been approved is a violation of federal law in the United States, and it can also result in the rejection of your trademark application.
- No one else can use a word that I have registered as a federal trademark.
- Having a federal trademark on a word does not give you exclusive rights to the use of the word. This is because the purpose of a trademark is to verify the origin of goods and/or services. If there is no confusion between the products or services being provided, it is possible and completely legal for two brands in two different industries to share the same name – just think about Delta airlines and Delta faucets.
The Number of Trademarks Registered by Louisville Businesses (by Year)
How many trademarks have Louisville, Kentucky 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 Louisville Businesses
The Louisville economy is driven by small businesses, and these local companies account for roughly two-thirds of the area’s workforce. These small businesses are providing job security and stability for residents, so it is imperative that business owners take the necessary steps to protect what they have built. So, you are probably wondering, is trademark registration really that important for Louisville businesses?
The answer is easy – yes! Trademark registration is a preventative measure that can be taken to protect the company that you have successfully built over the years or the new business that you are just starting. By completing and submitting a federal trademark application, you are protecting your products and/or services. Plus, having a registered trademark in place will also give you the opportunity to expand both online and throughout the United States. You should never have to limit your growth just because you didn’t file a trademark application. By taking the proper legal measures, you can allow yourself to dream much bigger than just Kentucky.
While there are several local chambers and business associations in Louisville that serve to help business owners, it is ultimately up to you to make the best decisions for your company. Protecting your brand with a trademark registration is an important step on the path to success. You never want to be limited or outdone by another company simply because someone else went through with the trademark registration process and you chose not to. By registering a trademark, you can prevent other companies from using the same name within your industry. Additionally, you are also legally protected if any trademark infringement ever takes place.
Even though you may just consider yourself to be a small company in Louisville, the fact of the matter is that we live in a global economy. People will buy anything and everything online, and having a registered trademark will allow you to take advantage of that opportunity without having to worry about whether or not another company took legal action first. You can easily give yourself a sense of security and protect your business offerings by obtaining a federal trademark registration.