*Please note that while Gerben Law Firm, PLLC is not located in Virginia, it can assist businesses from Virginia in registering a federal trademark because it is a federal matter.
Since Gerben Law Firm opened its doors in 2008, our trademark attorneys have been helping clients register and protect their trademarks. Gerben Law Firm has successfully registered thousands of federal trademarks across the United States and can assist businesses from Norfolk in doing the same. Whether you plan to open a food truck in Virginia Beach or you’re looking to expand your manufacturing business in Chesapeake, the trademark attorneys at Gerben Law Firm are ready to assist you in registering your trademark.
Federal Trademark Registration For Your Business
Top 5 Questions Norfolk Businesses Have About Obtaining/ Protecting a Trademark
- What is a trademark?
- A trademark indicates that a service or product is associated with a specific brand or company. With a federal trademark registration, you can protect words, colors, sounds, names, and even symbols. Once a trademark is obtained, the owner has a presumption of validity on a nationwide basis.
- Should I wait until I begin my business operations to file my trademark registration?
- To be sure that you are protecting yourself and your business, you should file a trademark application well before you begin business operations. Ideally, this process should take place before you decide upon a name, create your logo, or develop your brand. Waiting to register your federal trademark could allow another company to establish priority in your name (or a similar name), which could result in costly changes and legal fees.
- How long does it take for my trademark to be registered?
- The process usually takes around 8-10 months, from start to finish. In some cases, it may take longer than a year to complete a trademark registration. Working with an experienced trademark attorney could help to ensure that any issues that arise are dealt with in a timely manner and missed deadlines are avoided.
- Does hiring a trademark attorney increase my chance of approval?
- Hiring a trademark attorney can indeed increase your chance of approval. An experienced attorney will provide you with valuable legal advice throughout the entire process. Additionally, a study by the University of North Carolina actually found that trademark applications submitted with the help of an attorney increased the chances of approval by 50%.
- 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.
Common Misconceptions about Filing Trademarks for Norfolk Businesses
- I registered my trademark with the State of Virginia’s trademark registry, so I do not need to do anything further.
- While registering with the State of Virginia will not hinder your trademark protection, you will not be ensured protection outside the state. The process to apply for a federal trademark is typically more complicated, but with a federal trademark registration you will have a nationwide presumption of validity.
- I can’t afford to register my trademark.
- It is understandable to be budget conscious when starting a new business. In many cases, however, you can’t afford not to register your trademark. You’ve invested in developing your business, so you want to be sure that you are protected. If you forgo a trademark filing now, you could find yourself in a situation where the cost of defending or enforcing your trademark is significantly higher than an initial trademark registration.
- I don’t need permission to register a trademark with a public figure’s name in it.
- The USPTO requires written and signed consent for the use of any living person’s name in a trademark application. Each year, a large number of trademark applications are denied by the USPTO because of their unauthorized use of a public figure’s name.
- I did an internet search of my trademark, so I do not need a trademark search done by an attorney.
- The software available to the public on most websites, including the USPTO site, is quite limited when it comes to the ability to find conflicting trademarks. These sites typically identify exact trademark matches, such as an identical business name. Most trademark issues, however, come from a trademark that may be similar in sight, sound, meaning, or commercial impression. The trademark search professionals at Gerben Law FIrm can provide you with a much more comprehensive assessment of your trademark, which, in turn, will increase your chances of approval.
The Number of Trademarks Registered by Norfolk Businesses (by Year)
How many trademarks have Norfolk, Virginia 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 Norfolk Businesses
Norfolk’s rich history of entrepreneurship dates back to the founding of our nation, and that spirit is still alive today, from the city’s historic neighborhoods to the beaches a short drive away. Whether you are in the early stages of business planning and development, or you are looking to expand an already successful business in the Norfolk area, it is important to consult a trademark attorney. While initially registering your trademark is an essential step in protecting your business, persistently stopping others from possible infringement is just as important.
Imagine that a local businessman, Jake, decides to open a shop in Ghent, offering affordable custom tailored suits for men. As part of his business plan, Jake files a federal trademark application on the store’s name, Well Tailored, believing that this step alone is enough to protect his business. While Well Tailored starts as a small, one location storefront, it eventually grows to several stores along the East Coast. It isn’t until Jake starts to grow his online presence that he notices another company selling men’s clothing from their website WellTailoredMan.com.
Fortunately, Jake registered his trademark and is well within his rights to send a cease-and-desist letter to the owners of the online shop. He wonders, however, how many customers he may have lost to the confusing similarities between the business names, services, and products. If Jake had been working with a trademark attorney, his vigilance in protecting his trademark would have caught this possible infringement early on, potentially saving valued customers in the process. By working with a trademark attorney to register a trademark and monitor the marketplace for infringement, businesses of any size can protect their brands nationwide. Contact our experienced trademark attorneys today to know your risks and protect your business as it grows.