*Please note that while Gerben Intellectual Property is not located in Pittsburgh, it can assist businesses from Pennsylvania in registering a federal trademark because it is a federal matter.
Trademark attorney Josh Gerben founded Gerben Intellectual Property in 2008. Since that time, Gerben and his team of experienced trademark attorneys have registered thousands of trademarks for clients across the country, including the Pittsburgh area. Our clients range from individuals to large businesses, so whether you want to open a bar in Bloomfield or a mechanical engineering firm in Mount Lebanon, Gerben Intellectual Property is ready to assist you.
Federal Trademark Registration for Your Business
Testimonials from our Clients in Pittsburgh
“Better Minds Consulting had engaged the services of Josh Gerben Intellectual Property in 2009 for trademarking our company name/logo as it relates to IT Consulting services. Josh Gerben educated us on the process, worked with us at every stage and we got the trademark from USPTO within the least time by efficient documentation of required formalities. Subsequently, he also helped us take steps to maintain and monitor the trademark protection. The whole exercise went seamlessly with ease. I will be contacting them for my future needs.”
– Jay Annadatha, CEO
Better Minds Consulting LLC – Near Pittsburgh, PA
Top 5 Questions Pittsburgh Businesses Have About Obtaining and Protecting a Trademark
- Why should I register my trademark?
- The United States is a first-to-use country, so you will have some common law rights to your mark as soon as you use it in the marketplace, even if it’s not registered. Registering your trademark with the USPTO, however, provides much stronger protections. Common law trademark protections, for instance, will only protect your mark in the small geographic area where your business is located. This could make it challenging to expand to an area outside Pittsburgh, if a similar trademark is already in use there. You’ll also face more challenges asserting your trademark rights in legal proceedings. Therefore, it’s best to register your trademark with the USPTO, which will give you the presumption of validity nationwide.
- How long does it take to register a trademark?
- From start to finish, the average time to register a trademark is around 8-10 months. In some circumstances, however, it can take a year or more to obtain trademark registration. For this reason, it’s best to start the registration process as soon as possible.
- What is a priority date?
- A priority date can provide some initial trademark protections while your application is pending. The date you submit your application with the USPTO will become your priority date. Anyone looking to file a similar trademark after your priority date will not be approved by the USPTO.
- Does the USPTO require that I work with a trademark attorney?
- The USPTO does not require U.S. citizens to work with a trademark attorney, but they do recommend it. That’s because trademark attorneys are experienced in conducting trademark searches, drafting applications, and responding to non-substantive Office Actions on your behalf. This experience ensures a smooth registration process and it also increases your chances of approval! A recent study by the University of North Carolina found that applications submitted with the help of a trademark attorney were 50 percent more likely to be approved.
- How do I protect my trademark outside the United States?
- Your federally registered trademark provides valuable protections, but they only protect you in disputes that occur within the U.S. If you currently do business in other countries, or you plan to do so in the future, you should consider international trademark registration. When doing so, you have two options. The first is to file directly with the trademark offices of each country you wish to register. The other options utilizes the Madrid Protocol. This is an international treaty that allows registrants to file one application, in their home language, that can then be applied to over 90 member countries. Each country, then will make its own determination about approval.
Common Misconceptions about Filing Trademarks for Pittsburgh Businesses
- Trademarks, copyrights, and patents are all the same.
- While all three are forms of intellectual property, each protects something different. Trademarks, for example, protect anything that indicates a product or service is associated with a particular brand. Common trademarks include words, logos, slogans, and colors. Copyrights, on the other hand, protect works of authorship or art, like novels, lyrics, and fine art, while patents protect new and novel inventions.
- Trademark registration is only necessary for large businesses.
- Trademark registration is important for businesses of all sizes, from individuals who have developed one product to large corporations. However, trademark protections are particularly critical for small businesses. If you choose not to register your trademark, you could later find out that you are infringing on another business, and that business could force you to close your own business and rebrand. Not only is this costly, but time consuming as well. In addition, without trademark protections, it is easier for someone to infringe on your mark, which could be detrimental to your business in the early years, as you work to build customer loyalty and brand recognition. Gerben Intellectual Property has worked to register thousands of trademarks for businesses of all sizes. Contact us to learn more about the benefits of trademark registration.
- An examiner at the USPTO will conduct a trademark search once I submit my application, so I do not need to conduct a search first.
- Yes, an examiner will conduct a trademark search, but only after you have submitted your application and paid your fees. If the examiner finds a similar mark is already in use, your application could be rejected and your fees lost. For this reason, it’s important to conduct your own search prior to submitting your application to the USPTO. If you find a similar mark is in use, you can make changes to your mark or select another mark before submission. If you’re ready to conduct your own search, follow our steps on how to properly search for trademarks here.
- Another business has registered my trademark, so I cannot register it for my business.
- This is not necessarily true. If there is little likelihood of confusion between your products or services, you may still be able to use the mark. For example, the trademark ‘Delta’ is a well-known trademark for both an airline and a faucet manufacturer. Because consumers are unlikely to confuse the two companies and their products or services, both were able to register the mark.
- The USPTO will tell me if someone is trying to use my trademark.
- The USPTO reviews applications and approves registrations, but they will not alert you to potential infringement. As a trademark owner, it will be your responsibility to monitor your trademark’s use and take action against potential infringement. Fortunately, most trademark attorneys, including those at Gerben Intellectual Property, offer services to monitor your mark and, if potential infringement is found, will work with you to take legal action if necessary.
The Number of Trademarks Registered by Pittsburgh Businesses (by Year)
How many trademarks have Pittsburgh, PA businesses registered over the years? Gerben Intellectual Property collected the following data.
||# of Trademarks Registered
*data was gathered from the USPTO’s public database
Types of Trademark Services We Provide
Additional Information on Trademark Registration for Pittsburgh Businesses
Pittsburgh is a vibrant city built on entrepreneurship. If you plan to open your own business in the Pittsburgh area, consider working with a trademark attorney. While you focus on building your new venture, your attorney can conduct a comprehensive trademark search, draft your application, and even respond to non-substantive Office Actions on your behalf.
Consider this scenario: Beth decides to follow her passion and open a cycle studio in Squirrel Hill. Once she finds the perfect location, she gets to work creating a logo and ordering signage for her cycle studio, which she has named Steel City Cycle. Beth creates a website, prints marketing material, and even orders shirts and water bottles with her new logo and business name.
She’s days away from opening when she learns some devastating news. Beth was so busy with business tasks, that she overlooked one of the most critical steps, trademark registration. Across town, another entrepreneur has decided to open a bike shop, and he’s chosen the same name, Steel City Cycle. However, this owner had started the process of trademark registration early on. Because there is enough cause for confusion between the two businesses, Beth must now delay the opening of her studio and rebrand her business.
This costly and time consuming endeavor could have been prevented. Engage a trademark attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your mark is available before you invest time and money in using it. Contact Gerben Intellectual Property today to learn more about our trademark registration services.