*Please note that while Gerben Intellectual Property is not located in Texas, it can assist businesses from Texas in registering a federal trademark because it is a federal matter.
Founded by trademark attorney Josh Gerben in 2008, Gerben Intellectual Property has been helping clients register and protect thousands of trademarks all over the United States, including San Antonio. Gerben and his team of experienced attorneys work with individuals and businesses of all sizes. Whether you plan to open a boutique in the Pearl District or a hotel near Six Flags, Gerben Intellectual Property is ready to provide you trademark registration services.
Federal Trademark Registration for Your Business
Top Questions San Antonio Businesses Have About Obtaining and Protecting a Trademark
- What trademarks should I register?
- A trademark can be anything that shows a certain product or service is associated with your brand. Business owners commonly register their business and product names, logos, and slogans. However, if your brand uses a specific color, sound, or even smell, you should consider protecting it through trademark registration.
- Do I need to hire a trademark attorney?
- The United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, doesn’t require U.S. citizens to work with attorneys, but they do strongly recommend it. That’s because experienced attorneys can conduct a comprehensive trademark search, draft your application correctly, and even respond to non-substantive Office Actions on your behalf, ensuring a smooth registration process. In fact, a study by the University of North Carolina shows the benefit of working with an attorney. Applications submitted to the USPTO with the help of an attorney were up to 50 percent more likely to be approved.
- When should I start the process to register a trademark?
- In short, now. Ideally, trademark registration should be one of the first things you do when planning to open your business. Before you start branding your products, purchasing signage, or creating your website, you should be sure that the trademark you are using is available, and you are not infringing on another business. Waiting to register your trademark until your business opens or you plan to expand could leave you vulnerable to infringement in the future.
- What is a priority date?
- The date that you submit your application to the USPTO will become your priority date. Anyone looking to file an application for a confusingly similar trademark after that date will not be approved. This is another reason to start the registration process as soon as possible and lock in this valuable protection.
Common Misunderstandings about Filing Trademarks for San Antonio Businesses
- I don’t need to register my trademark with the USPTO.
- The United States is a common law country, which means you will have some basic protections simply by using your mark in the marketplace. However, those protections are extremely limited. For instance, you could have a harder time asserting your right to the mark in legal disputes. You’ll also only be protected in the small geographic region where your business is based. If you have plans to expand and grow your business to areas outside San Antonio in the future, you could face issues if a similar mark is already in use there. In order to have the broadest protections and the presumption of validity nationwide, you need to register your trademark with the USPTO.
- I do not need permission from a celebrity to use his or her name.
- My U.S. registered trademark protects my business from counterfeiting in countries like China.
- The trademark protections provided by your federally registered trademark will only help you in disputes that arise within the United States. If you do business in another country, you should strongly consider seeking trademark registration in that country as well.
- I googled my trademark and could not find another business using my name, so it is free to use.
- Simply because another business is not using your exact mark, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is available for use. The USPTO will reject any trademark application if a confusingly similar mark is already in use. Work with a trademark attorney to conduct a comprehensive trademark search, finding not only exact matches to your mark, but similar matches as well.
- The symbols “TM” and “®” mean the same thing.
- The ® symbol indicates that your trademark has been federally registered. Use of this symbol prior to obtaining trademark registration is a violation of federal law and could be grounds for a rejection of your application. Until your trademark registration has been approved by the USPTO, you are free to use the ™ symbol.
The Number of Trademarks Registered in San Antonio by Year
How many trademarks have San Antonio, TX 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 offered to San Antonio, TX Clients
Additional Information on Trademark Registration for San Antonio Businesses
Entrepreneurs in San Antonio know that there are many steps that go into starting a new business. Between finding the perfect location to hiring and training employees, it can seem like the to-do list is never ending. Before you invest in product labeling, marketing, and more, be sure to take the critical step of protecting your startup through trademark registration.
Consider this scenario: Shawn and Taylor love visiting the many wineries north of town. They decide to bring a taste of the Hill Country closer to home, and open their own wine bar, featuring the best Texas wines. They find the perfect location near the River Walk and get to work building out the space, ordering inventory, and selecting the perfect business name, Lonestar Wine Bar.
Unfortunately, just weeks before opening, they learn some devastating news. A business in Dallas has been using the same name for over a year, and they registered their trademark. The Dallas business sends a cease-and-desist letter to Shawn and Taylor, asking them to refrain from using the name. Now the couple must delay their opening and rebrand their business, which is not only time consuming, but costly as well.
Before you invest in your business, be sure to protect that investment by beginning the process to register your trademark. The experienced attorneys at Gerben Intellectual Property can assist you in conducting a comprehensive trademark search and securing federal trademark rights so that you can invest in your business and open with confidence. Contact us today to learn more about our reasonable, flat rate trademark registration services.