*Please note that while Gerben Law Firm, PLLC is not located in San Francisco, it can assist businesses from the San Francisco region in registering a federal trademark because it is a federal matter.
Trademark registrations are crucial for growing businesses. Ensuring your trademark is properly cleared with a professional trademark search, and, that your application is properly drafted is incredibly important. The attorneys at Gerben Law Firm have successfully registered thousands of trademarks, and, are happy to answer any questions you have about register a trademark for your business.
Federal Trademark Registration For Your Business
Testimonials From Our Clients in the San Francisco Region
“Every now and again you come across someone who you know will always get the job done, be upfront and honest, and looks out for you. It’s great never having to worry about Trademarks. I know I can just give him a call and it’ll be done quickly, affordable, and done right. He gives us one less thing to worry about.”
“This is the only service I’ve ever reviewed because I honestly believe he’s one of the best. I can count on one hand the services I really trust and will always go back to, and Josh is one of them.”
– Megan Cummins
You Smell LLC – San Francisco, CA
“We were very pleased with the trademark services provided by the Gerben Law Firm. Everything was handled very efficiently and professionally. We dealt with Mr. Gerben directly which is rare in today’s world. His personal time and attention was greatly appreciated. We would not hesitate using his services in the future and would highly recommend the Gerben Law Firm to anyone seeking Trademark representation.”
– Randall Herzon
Kritter Kountry – San Francisco, CA
“After being disappointed with previous trademark attorneys, Mr. Gerben came highly recommended from a friend of mine whose opinion I highly value. After engaging with the Gerben Law Firm, I can say the experience was nothing but extremely professional and pleasant. He was readily available to speak when needed and his detailed research upon project commencement led me to believe I was going with the right company; a decision I did not regret. I wholeheartedly recommend the Gerben Law firm for your trademarking needs.”
– Ismail Maiyegun
Digitalvaliance – San Francisco, CA
“My trademarked logo is the heart of my network and clothing line. It is quite literally, my identity. Josh has been elemental in the process of acquiring my TM. I will definitely be using his services again, and recommend him to all my clients!”
– Conor Flanagan – San Francisco, CA
“Josh handled three trademarks for us and helped us navigate the confusing waters of trademark issues. His prices are way better than any other attorneys I’ve seen, and he got all or our trademarks filed and registered very efficiently. His service plans are clear, and he makes himself available to answer questions in a timely manner. With extremely fair pricing, flawless service, and excellent responsiveness, how can you go wrong? We are very happy with Josh’s service and would recommend him 100% without question.”
– Kerry Ettinger
Eepples Inc. – Near San Francisco, CA
Top 5 Questions San Francisco Businesses Have About Protecting a Trademark
- Are trademarks and patents the same thing?
- No, trademark law protects brands and things that represent a business, like a name, slogan, or logo. Patent law protects inventions and “processes.” If you created a new machine or a new way of making something, you may be able to patent the invention. If you named the machine something unique, you would protect the name of the machine as a trademark.
- Can I apply for a trademark anonymously?
- All filings with the United States Patent and Trademark Office are public and the name of the trademark owner must be disclosed upon filing.
- Can I file one application to cover every type of product imaginable (even ones I don’t plan to sell)?
- No, you must apply for specific goods that you (1) are actually selling or (2) intend to sell in the near future. Be careful – whether you are selling the products will determine whether you file as an “intent to use” application or a standard application.
- What class should I file in?
- The USPTO has 47 different “classes,” which are overall categories. The classes you should file for depends on the actual products you are producing. For example, a retail clothing store would likely file in Class 35, but a clothing brand would file in class 25. One is a service and the other is a product.
- What is an “intent-to-use” application?
- The USPTO allows you to “reserve rights” for a little over three years under an “intent to use” application. Once you’ve begun putting together a business plan, contacting manufacturers, and making concrete plans, you should file your trademark application.
Common Misconceptions about Filing Trademarks for San Francisco Businesses
- I filed my trademark with my state trademark database so I do not need to file a federal trademark application.
- A trademark registration obtained through a trademark application filed with the USPTO provides the presumption of national ownership while a state trademark registration only provides rights in an individual state. In today’s world it is almost always imperative to seek a federal registration to cover territory outside of your home state.
- You can’t own your name as a trademark.
- If you are using your name as a brand, in connection with specific goods and services, then you can likely register it with the USPTO. However, if someone else has already registered a similar trademark, your application may be denied (even if it is your legal name).
- I applied for my trademark at the United States Copyright Office’s website.
- o U.S. Copyright law and U.S. trademark law are completely different laws with completely different processes for registration. The USPTO is the only U.S. agency that can issue a federal trademark registration.
- Trademark searches are a waste of time.
- o A trademark search is one of the most important things a business owner can do before investing time and money into a trademark. Without a search, a business owner won’t know how risky using a trademark will be until its possibly too late.
The Number of Trademarks Registered in San Francisco (by Year)
How many trademarks have San Francisco, California 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 We Offer
Additional Information on Trademark Registration for San Francisco Businesses
San Francisco, as a city, is a business power house. Thousands of tech start-ups have started in San Fran and the city continues to create new and innovative business. Each of these startups can benefit from a federal trademark registration. Whether it is a new disruptive technology or a hip new coffee shop, San Francisco businesses should protect their trademarks.
Imagine that you are a business owner starting a new “smart” hat that measures a wearer’s biometrics and provides feedback throughout the day. Your prototype cost almost $2,500 in research and development and you are finally ready to launch your crowdfunding campaign to raise the $250,000 you will need to make your dream a reality. You don’t perform a trademark search and choose the name “Lubby Hats.” You launch your crowdfunding campaign and raise over $500,000 in one month. You start production and include a large LUBBY HATS embroidery in each of the hats you create.
Meanwhile, a Portland-based company Lubbi Clothing has been selling high-fashion hats for six years under the name “Lubbi.” Lubbi registered the phrase for “hats” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Shortly after your crowdfunding campaign ends, the Portland company starts getting calls asking for updates on your campaign. It learns that you are using a confusingly similar name and sends you a cease-and-desist letter. They are demanding that you change your name immediately.
You are now faced with a difficult choice. You will need to spend a significant amount of money on legal fees and you may need to change your name completely. You may be required to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars removing the “Lubby” name from your products before they are sent to customers. It could be a disaster before a single hat is in the hands of consumers. The worst part is that Lubbi Clothing would likely have a great case for infringement.
As a business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that you do not infringe on others protected trademarks. If a trademark is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, then you cannot claim that you “never heard” of the owner of the registered mark. Trademark law presumes that you will check the USPTO database before you start using a confusing similar trademark.
By hiring an experience trademark attorney to perform a search and analysis, you can know how risky a trademark is before adopting it and spending critical marketing dollars putting the name into the marketplace. A trademark attorney can then draft your application and provide personalized advice to assist you in protecting your trademark rights.