*Please note that while Gerben Law Firm, PLLC is not located in Omaha, it can assist businesses from Nebraska in registering a federal trademark because it is a federal matter.
In 2008, trademark attorney Josh Gerben founded Gerben Law Firm to provide professional trademark registration services to individuals and businesses of all sizes. Since that time, Gerben and his team of experienced attorneys have registered thousands of trademarks for clients across the country, including the Omaha area. Whether you plan to open a wine bar in the Old Market or expand your IT firm in Bellevue, Gerben Law Firm is ready to assist you.
Federal Trademark Registration for Your Business
Top 5 Questions Omaha Businesses Have About Obtaining and Protecting a Trademark
- What does a trademark protect?
- A trademark protects anything that represents your brand in the marketplace. Common trademarks include business or product names, logos, or slogans, but even sounds, smells, and colors could be protected through trademark registration.
- What does the USPTO do?
- The United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, is a division of the Department of Commerce. The USPTO examines applications and grants approval for both trademarks and patents. They also maintain the records for trademarks and patents.
- Do I need to conduct a trademark search?
- A trademark search is conducted to determine if a similar mark is in use before you submit your application to the USPTO and pay your filing fees. If you find a confusingly similar mark, you will then have the opportunity to make changes before filing your application. If you don’t conduct a trademark search prior to submitting your application, it can be rejected if the USPTO examiner finds a similar mark exists.
- How long does a trademark last?
- Your trademark protections won’t expire, as long as you continue to use the mark in the marketplace and meet renewal deadlines. For new trademarks, the first renewal occurs between the fifth and sixth year, and then again between the ninth and tenth year. After that, trademark renewals occur every ten years. It is important to meet the deadlines set by the USPTO, or your trademark could be cancelled.
- How do I obtain trademark protections in other countries?
- Your federally registered trademark will only protect you in disputes within the United States. If you sell, manufacture, or distribute your product in another country, it is important to register your trademark there as well. There are two options when it comes to international trademark registration. The first is to submit an application directly to each country’s trademark office. The other options is using the Madrid Protocol. This is an international treaty that allows registrants to submit one application that can then be applied to any of the treaty’s more than 90 member countries. Each country will then make its own determination about approval.
Common Misunderstandings about Filing Trademarks for Omaha Businesses
- Trademark registration is easy, so I can do it myself through an online legal site.
- Several online sites advertise low cost, DIY trademark registrations. This may seem like a budget friendly option, but it can often end up costing more in the long run. From conducting a search to selecting International Classes and responding to Office Actions, trademark registration is a detailed legal process. Working with a trademark attorney helps ensure that things are done correctly the first time, and you are more likely to be approved when working with a trademark attorney. In fact, a study by the University of North Carolina found that trademarks submitted with the assistance of an attorney were 50% more likely to be approved. If you file on your own and are initially rejected, you will then need to pay additional fees to file again.
- Once I register a word, no one else can use it.
- This isn’t necessarily the case. The USPTO will only reject similar applications if there could be a likelihood of confusion in the marketplace. Not all similar marks, however, could cause confusion. For example, Delta Airlines and Delta Faucets are both free to use the ‘Delta’ trademark because consumers aren’t likely to confuse an airline with a faucet manufacturer.
- I should wait until my business is more established to register my trademark.
- Trademark registration should be one of the first things you do as a new business owner. Before you invest money into product development, signage, labels, and more, you’ll want to know that the trademark you are using on these items is available for your use. If not, you could be infringing on another business, which is a costly mistake. In addition, starting the registration process early helps protect your brand from infringement. That’s because the date you submit your application is your priority date. Anyone looking to file a similar mark after that date will be rejected. Starting the registration process in the early stages of your business will help to lock in protections as soon as possible.
- I only need one trademark registration to protect my business.
- Each mark you wish to register will need its own trademark application and registration. For instance, if you plan to register your business name, product name, logo, and slogan, each would require its own application. If you are unsure about whether or not an aspect of your business could benefit from trademark registration, contact us.
The Number of Trademarks Registered by Omaha Businesses (by Year)
How many trademarks have Omaha, NE 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 Omaha Businesses
It’s a great time to start a new business in Omaha, Nebraska’s largest city. Whether you are just beginning to create a business plan or you have been in business for some time, now is the time to start the trademark registration process to protect your brand.
Consider this scenario: Aaron and Brad are avid outdoorsmen who create an odorless insect repellent, which they call Bugged Out. At first, they only sell their repellent at fairs, farmer’s markets, and events around Omaha. They’ve heard of trademark registration, but they feel their business is simply too small to justify the cost.
After a few months, the friends create a large following, and they decide to sell their product online. Unfortunately, not long after their website launches, the friends receive a cease-and-desist letter in the mail. A pest control company serving many large cities in the Midwest has been using the name Bugged Out for years, and since they had registered the trademark, they are well within their rights to ask Aaron and Brad to stop selling under that name. Now, the men must shut down the site while they rebrand and relabel all of their products, a costly and time-consuming endeavor.
No matter the size of your business, don’t put off trademark registration. Gerben Law Firm offers reasonable, flat rate trademark registration services to ensure that your business is protected. Contact us today.