*Please note that while Gerben Law Firm, PLLC is not located in New Orleans, it can assist businesses from Louisiana in registering a federal trademark because it is a federal matter.
Trademark attorney Josh Gerben founded Gerben Law Firm in 2008. Since that time, Gerben and his team of experienced trademark attorneys have registered trademarks for thousands of clients across the country, including the New Orleans area. We work with individuals and businesses of all sizes, so whether you plan to offer carriage tours in the French Quarter or you are growing your engineering firm in Slidell, our team is ready to assist you.
Federal Trademark Registration for Your Business
Top 5 Questions New Orleans Businesses Have About Obtaining and Protecting a Trademark
- How is a trademark different than a copyright or patent?
- All three of these are forms of intellectual property, but each protects different things. Trademarks, for instance, protect anything that represents your brand in the marketplace, including names, logos, slogans, and even signature colors. Copyrights, on the other hand, protect works of authorship, like song lyrics, poetry, and art, while patents protect new and novel inventions. If you are unsure which aspects of your business should be trademarked, contact Gerben Law Firm.
- 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 for trademarks and patents and grants approval. They also maintain records for both patents and trademarks.
- How long does it take to register a trademark?
- The trademark registration process takes about 8-10 months, on average, from start to finish. In some cases, though, it can take a year or more to gain approval from the USPTO. Fortunately, you will have some trademark benefits as soon as you submit your application. First, the date you file will become your priority date. Anyone looking to file a similar mark after that date will be rejected. Second, you’ll be able to use the ™ symbol while your application is pending.
- Am I required to work with a trademark attorney?
- The USPTO doesn’t require U.S. citizens to engage a trademark attorney at this time, but they strongly encourage it. That’s because the process to register a trademark requires many detailed legal decisions along the way, from conducting a trademark search to selecting the appropriate International Classes. Trademark attorneys are experienced in drafting applications correctly, and they’ll likely increase your chances of approval. In fact, a study by the University of North Carolina found that applications submitted with the help of a trademark attorney were 50% more likely to be approved!
- Will my trademark protect me in other countries where my product is being manufactured and distributed?
Common Misunderstandings about Filing Trademarks for New Orleans Businesses
- My business is too small to justify trademark registration.
- A registered trademark offers important protections for businesses of any size. Without it, even small businesses could be prohibited from expanding to other areas where similar marks are in use. They could also face a loss of customers and profits if their mark is infringed upon. In order to protect your small business as you grow your brand, you should consider registering your trademark with the USPTO.
- My competitor didn’t register its name, so I can trademark it for myself.
- I only need one trademark to protect my business.
- This is most likely not the case. Most businesses have multiple trademarks to ensure their brand is protected. Consider everything that represents your brand, from business and product names to slogans, logos, and even sounds and smells. All of these should be registered with the USPTO to protect against infringement, and each requires its own trademark application and registration.
- The USPTO will conduct a trademark search, so I don’t need to conduct my own search.
- It’s true that your USPTO trademark examiner will conduct a comprehensive search, but this only happens after you’ve submitted your application and paid your fees. Then, if your examiner finds a similar mark is already in use, your application will be rejected. This is why it is important to conduct a trademark search before you submit your application. If you find your mark already exists, you’ll be able to make changes before seeking registration with the USPTO.
The Number of Trademarks Registered by New Orleans Businesses (by Year)
How many trademarks have New Orleans, LA 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 New Orleans Businesses
New Orleans is a vibrant city with a strong history of entrepreneurship. Many new business owners in the New Orleans area focus on location, employees, and marketing. While all of these are essential to business function, protecting your business through trademark registration should also be a high priority.
Consider this scenario: Monica loves to drive past a beautiful estate in the Garden District on her daily commute. When she notices it’s for sale, she decides to follow her dream of buying it to run a bed and breakfast. She gets right to work renovating the home, buying a sign, and creating marketing with the bed and breakfast’s name. She chooses The Periwinkle Inn because of the beautiful flowers growing in the neighborhood.
Monica decides she is too busy with the renovation to focus on trademark registration, and this becomes a costly mistake. If she had taken the time to conduct a trademark search and register the mark, she would have learned that a boutique hotel was preparing to open near the French Quarter. Because the hotel owners registered their trademark in the early stages of business planning, they are well within their rights to ask Monica to delay her opening and rebrand the inn.
No matter how busy you are as a new business owner, you are never too busy to protect your business through trademark registration. Contact Gerben Law Firm today to learn more about our reasonable, flat rate trademark registration services.