*Please note that while Gerben Perrott PLLC is not located in San Diego, it can work with companies and individuals from California in registering a federal trademark because it is a federal matter.
Gerben Intellectual Property was established in 2008 by trademark attorney Josh Gerben. Since that time, Gerben and his experienced team have successfully registered thousands of trademarks for clients across the country, including the San Diego area. Gerben Intellectual Property works with individuals and businesses of all sizes, so whether you plan to open a cupcake shop in Mission Hills or a consulting firm in Encinitas, we’re ready to assist you.
Federal Trademark Registration for Your Business
Top 5 Questions San Diego Businesses Have About Obtaining a Trademark
- Do I need to register my trademark with the USPTO?
- The United States is a first-to-use country, which means that you will have some trademark protections as soon as you use the mark in public. These protections, though, are quite limited. Common law trademark protections, for instance, will only cover disputes that arise in the small geographic region the business in located. This could become an issue if you plan to expand to an area outside San Diego in the future. In addition, it could be more challenging to assert your trademark rights in legal proceedings. To have the presumption of nationwide validity, you should register your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO.
- What aspects of my business should I trademark?
- A trademark can be anything that represents your brand. Business owners commonly register their business or product names logos, and slogans, but you can also register specific sounds, smells, and colors if they represent your brand.
- How long does it take to register a trademark?
- What are International Classes?
- As you draft your trademark application for the USPTO, you’ll need to select from a list of 47 International Classes. These classes outline the goods and services that can be represented through trademark registration. Select the class or classes that best represent the goods or services you plan to offer under your trademark.
- When will my trademark expire?
- Great news! A federally registered trademark will never expire, as long as you continue to use it and meet the renewal deadlines set by the USPTO. For new trademarks, the first renewal deadline will occur between the fifth and sixth year, and then again between the ninth and tenth year. After that, you will need to renew your trademark every ten years. However, if you miss a renewal deadline, your trademark could be cancelled.
Common Misunderstandings about Filing Trademarks for San Diego Businesses
- All intellectual property is basically the same.
- The three main types of intellectual property include trademarks, copyrights, and patents. Each protects a different aspect of your business. Trademarks protect the things that represent your brand, like words, logos, and slogans. Copyrights, on the other hand, protect creative works, like art, music, and poetry, while patents protect new and novel inventions.
- Trademark registration is only for large businesses.
- Whether your business is large or small, it could benefit from the valuable protections of a trademark registration. Owning a federally registered trademark ensures that your brand is protected from infringement, but it also protects you from infringing on other businesses. Gerben Intellectual Property offers professional trademark registration services at a reasonable, flat rate, so businesses of any size can benefit from trademark protections. Find out more about our trademark services.
- Another business has registered my preferred trademark, so I cannot register it myself.
- It is possible that the trademark could still be available, as long as there could be no likelihood of confusion with the products or services offered. For instance, both a major airline and a faucet manufacturer were able to trademark the word ‘Delta’ because consumers were unlikely to confuse the two companies. If you are unsure about the availability of a particular mark, Gerben Intellectual Property can help.
- I Googled my trademark so I don’t need to do a comprehensive search.
- Using a search engine to conduct a trademark search may seem like a money saving option, but it could end up costing you more in the long run. That’s because these searches typically only reveal exact matches to your trademark. Unfortunately, most trademark disputes are caused by confusingly similar matches, not exact matches. A comprehensive trademark search conducted by an experienced attorney will reveal both exact and similar matches. If a potential conflict is found, your attorney can work with you to make the necessary changes before submitting your application and paying your fees to the USPTO.
The Number of Trademarks Registered by San Diego Businesses (by Year)
How many trademarks have San Diego, CA 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 Offer
Additional Information on Trademark Registration for San Diego Businesses
It’s a great time to open a business in the San Diego area. Many entrepreneurs are concerned about costs, especially in the early stages of the business. Some San Diego business owners might be tempted to save money and take on the task of conducting a trademark search themselves. While taking the DIY approach vs. hiring an attorney might be beneficial in some aspects of business, it is not recommended for trademark searches and registration.
Consider this scenario: Luke is a water sports enthusiast who decides to open his own shop in Mission Beach, where he plans to sell surf boards, paddle boards, kayaks, and accessories. He chooses the business name The Pacific Paddler and does a quick search to be sure that no other water sports shops are using the same name. Then he gets busy building out the location and buying inventory.
Unfortunately, Luke soon learns some frustrating news. A popular tour company in Orange County, Pacific Paddling, feels there is cause for customer confusion, and they send Luke a cease-and-desist letter. Now he must delay his opening and rebrand the business, a costly and time-consuming mistake. If Luke had worked with a trademark attorney from the start, he would have learned of the existing business and avoided the legal issue ahead of him now.
If you are opening a new business, contact us for a complimentary trademark consultation.