*Please note that while Gerben Perrott PLLC is not located in Virginia, it can work with businesses from Virginia in registering a federal trademark because it is a federal matter.
Since its founding in 2008, Gerben Intellectual Property has been helping clients register and protect their trademarks. Trademark attorney Josh Gerben and his experienced team have successfully registered thousands of federal trademarks for clients all over the U.S., including the Richmond area. Whether you plan to open a yoga studio in the Museum District or you are expanding your manufacturing business in Mechanicsville, Gerben Intellectual Property is ready to assist you in registering your trademark.
Federal Trademark Registration for Your Business
Testimonials from our Clients in the Richmond Region
“Josh knows his subject, he does careful analysis, and he has impressive systems in place that save me time, as his client. Most importantly, he really listens, so he has all the data. In the end, he doesn’t just make recommendations, he explains the issues and tradeoffs so you can weigh risks and make smart decisions. His follow-up is stellar, too, long after your bill is marked “paid.” Run, don’t walk, to GerbenLaw.com for your trademark needs. His #3 national rating is obviously well-deserved (and soon to be #1, if I don’t miss my guess).”
– Kevin Crenshaw
Priacta, Inc. – Richmond, VA
Top 5 Questions Richmond Businesses Have About Obtaining a Trademark
- How will my trademark protect my business?
- A trademark that is registered with the USPTO offers many critical protections. First, other businesses will be prohibited from using a confusingly similar mark. This is important when you are working to build brand recognition and customer loyalty. In addition, the process to register your trademark involves a comprehensive trademark search. This ensures that you will not be infringing on any other businesses as well, which saves you from costly and time consuming legal proceedings down the road. You’ll also have the presumption of nationwide validity, so you will be free to do business anywhere in the United States. For more reasons to trademark your business, read our blog post here.
- What does the USPTO do?
- The United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, reviews all applications for patents and trademarks and makes determinations on approval. They also maintain the records for all trademarks and patents.
- What is a priority date?
- The date you submit your application to the USPTO will become your priority date. Anyone looking to file a confusingly similar trademark after that date will not be approved by the USPTO. Begin the process to register your trademark as soon as possible to lock in this valuable trademark protection.
- I manufacture my product in another country. Will my federal trademark protect me outside the United States?
- Your federally registered trademark will only protect you in disputes that occur within the U.S. If you manufacture or sell your products in another country, you should strongly consider seeking trademark registration there. You can apply directly with that country’s trademark office, or you can use the Madrid Protocol. This international treaty allows you to submit one application that can then be applied to over 90 member countries. However, each country will then make its own determination of approval.
- When can I start using the ® symbol?
- The ® symbol should only be used once your trademark registration has been approved by the USPTO. Using it prior to approval is a violation of federal law and could be grounds for cancellation of your application. While your trademark application is pending, however, you are free to use the ™ symbol.
Common Misunderstandings about Filing Trademarks for Richmond Businesses
- I should wait to register my trademark until my business is more profitable.
- Many new business owners are budget conscious, and there are costs associated with trademark registration. However, in many cases, choosing to postpone the process could end up costing more in the long run. If you find that you are infringing on another business after you have invested in signage, labels, websites, and marketing material, you could be forced to shut down and rebrand. In order to ensure your investment is protected from the start, you should register your trademark as soon as possible.
- I don’t need to conduct a trademark search because the USPTO examiner will conduct one.
- An examiner at the USPTO will conduct a comprehensive trademark search, but only after you’ve submitted your application and paid your fees. If a confusingly similar mark is already in use, the USPTO could reject your application. Determine if your mark already exists prior to submitting your application by conducting a search with your trademark attorney. If any trademark matches are found, you’ll be able to make changes before filing your application.
- I applied to register my business name. That is enough to protect my business.
- It’s certainly important to register your business name, but it may not be enough to protect your brand. Remember that anything that represents your brand in the marketplace can be a registered trademark. In addition to your business name, this could include product names, logos, slogans, and even colors or smells. All will need to be registered with the USPTO to ensure your brand is protected. Obtaining trademark registration for only your business name could leave you open to infringement in other areas.
- It’s okay to make small changes to my trademark overtime.
- In order to maintain control of your trademark, you must use it exactly as it appears in your trademark application. If you make changes to your mark, you will need to submit a new application to the USPTO. Failing to do so could result in the cancellation of your mark. Learn more about how to protect your trademark.
The Number of Trademarks Registered by Richmond Businesses (by Year)
How many trademarks have Richmond, VA businesses registered over the years? Gerben Intellectual Property collected the following data.
|Year||# of Trademarks Registered|
*data was gathered from the USPTO’s public database
Types of Trademark Services We Offer
Additional Information on Trademark Registration for Richmond Businesses
It’s an exciting time to open a business in Richmond, Virginia! If you are planning to start your own venture in the River City, you probably have a long list of priorities, from choosing a location to hiring employees. No matter how busy you are, though, don’t overlook the importance of U.S. trademark registration.
Consider this scenario: Following their graduation at Virginia Commonwealth University, Tyson and Mark decide to open their own insurance agency in the Fan District. They select the name River City Risks, and get right to work securing carriers and creating marketing to bring in new business. They know that trademark registration is important, but right now they are so focused on the insurance aspect of the business that they postpone it until they are more established.
A proper trademark search, conducted by an attorney, would have alerted the friends to an existing insurance provider by the same name in Sacramento, California. That firm recently learned that its customers had confused the two companies online, and because the Sacramento owners registered their name with the USPTO, they are well within their rights to ask the Richmond firm to stop using the name.
It’s understandable for business owners to be overwhelmed with work when opening a new business. When you work with Gerben Intellectual Property, you can continue focusing on your business while we focus on your trademark protections. Contact us to discuss and engage in our trademark registration services today!