*Please note that while Gerben Law Firm is not located in Oregon, it can assist businesses from Oregon in registering a federal trademark because it is a federal matter.
Since its founding in 2008, Gerben Law Firm has been helping clients register and protect their trademarks across the United States, including the Portland area. Trademark attorney Josh Gerben and his team have successfully registered thousands of federal trademarks on behalf of their clients. Whether you want to open a boutique in the Pearl District or you plan to expand your architecture firm in Lake Oswego, Gerben Law Firm’s team of experienced trademark attorneys wants to assist you in registering your trademark.
Federal Trademark Registration for Your Portland Business
Top 4 Questions Portland Businesses Have About Obtaining and Protecting a Trademark
- Why do I need a trademark?
- A trademark protects anything that represents your brand. Common trademarks include business names, slogans, and logos, but even colors, sounds, and smells can be trademarked. A strong trademark will help to establish brand recognition and customer loyalty. A registered trademark will also protect your business from infringement. Without a trademark, you could find yourself unknowingly infringing on another company’s mark, which can be a costly legal mistake.
- Why should I hire a trademark attorney?
- Often, in an effort to save money, business owners opt to begin the trademark registration process alone, only to learn that the process is much more detailed and time consuming than they’d anticipated. Those business owners may end up spending more money and time to correct and re-file their applications than they would have if they’d hired an attorney from the start. An experienced trademark attorney will ensure that the process runs smoothly from start to finish.
- When should I file my trademark application?
- File your trademark application as soon as possible. Ideally, trademark registration should be one of the first steps you take when starting your business. The date you submit your application to the USPTO will become your priority date, which means that you have priority for the trademark over anyone looking to file a similar mark at a later date. The longer you wait to file your registration, the more you risk potential infringement.
- What is the USPTO?
- The USPTO stands for the United States Patent and Trademark Office, which is a division of the Department of Commerce. The USPTO 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 Misunderstandings about Filing Trademarks for Portland Businesses
- I registered my trademark with the State of Oregon, so I do not need to do anything further.
- While registering with your state doesn’t hinder your trademark protection, it won’t protect your mark in disputes that occur outside Oregon. The process to apply for a federal trademark is typically more complicated that state registration, but you will have the presumption of validity nationwide.
- Once I’ve registered my trademark, no one else can use it.
- It is possible for another business to use your mark if there is no likelihood of confusion between the two brands. For example, Delta is a well-known airline, but it’s also the name of a major faucet manufacturer. Because they are not direct competitors and likely won’t be confused in the marketplace, both are free to use the trademark “Delta.”
- I can’t afford to register my trademark.
- It’s understandable for new business owners to be concerned about budgets, but in many cases, you can’t afford not to register your trademark. In fact, it could end up costing more in the long run if you find that you are infringing on another business, or if another business infringes on your mark. Gerben Law Firm offers a reasonable, flat fee trademark registration for budget conscious entrepreneurs.
- My U.S. trademark will protect me in other countries where I sell my product.
- Your federally registered trademark offers valuable protections within the United States, but it does not protect you in other countries. If you are currently doing business outside the U.S., or if you plan to do so in the future, you should consider international trademark registration. Read about our four reasons why you should register an international trademark here.
- I can register my competitor’s trademark with the USPTO so that my competitor can’t use it.
- Knowingly registering a trademark that does not belong to you is a fraud, and could result in your trademark being cancelled. Consult a trademark attorney to understand your rights and limitations in registering a trademark.
The Number of Trademarks Registered by Portland Businesses (by Year)
How many trademarks have Portland, OR businesses registered over the years? Gerben Law Firm collected the following data.
|Year||# of Trademarks Registered|
*data was gathered from the USPTO’s public database
Types of Trademark Services offered to Portland, OR Clients
Additional Information on Trademark Registration for Portland Businesses
Portland is a thriving city that has attracted many new business owners and entrepreneurs in recent years. Some of these new businesses, in an effort to save time and money, rely only on a quick Google search to determine if the name they’ve chosen is available, then move forward without hiring an attorney to conduct a comprehensive trademark search or to register their trademark. While this DIY option might appear to save time and money upfront, it could cost the business even more in the long run.
Consider this scenario: Rich is an entrepreneur at heart and has been researching ways to have a more flexible work schedule. He decides to leave his current job and invest his savings into a new project, a mobile car detailing business. Rich knows that the people of Portland value environmentally friendly products and services, so he chooses the name The Green Clean Machine. He does a quick internet search of other mobile detailers and car washes in the area. Not seeing a competitor by the same name, Rich moves forward with branding his business, sending flyers, and even having his mobile detailing van painted in the perfect shade of green.
A comprehensive trademark search, conducted by a trademark attorney, would have revealed that a well-known auto parts store sells a cleaning product called the Green Machine. Because the auto parts store registered a trademark for their cleaning product, they are well within their rights to take legal action. Rich receives a cease-and-desist letter six months after his business has opened and customer recognition has been established. The time and money that Rich saved in the beginning has now been lost to rebranding, lost revenue, and potential legal fees. Contact Gerben Law Firm today to learn more about protecting your trademark.