*Please note that while Gerben Law Firm, PLLC is not located in Seattle, it can assist businesses from Washington in registering a federal trademark because it is a federal matter.
Since Gerben Law Firm’s founding in 2008, trademark attorney Josh Gerben and his team have registered thousands of federal trademarks from across the country, including the Seattle area. We work with individuals and companies of all sizes. Whether you plan to open a brewery in Belltown or expand your tech business in Bellevue, contact Gerben Law Firm to register your trademark.
Federal Trademark Registration for Your Business
Top 4 Questions Seattle Businesses Have About Obtaining a Trademark
- How is a trademark different than a copyright?
- Trademarks differ from copyrights in a few key ways. A trademark protects anything that indicates a product or service is related to a specific brand. Common trademarks include words, phrases, logos, or slogans. Copyrights, on the other hand, protect creative works, including music, books, and artwork.
- Why should I hire a trademark attorney?
- Money can be tight as you start a new business, and it’s understandable to be concerned about costs. In fact, many individuals and small businesses often try to navigate the trademark process without legal representation, only to realize the process is much more detailed and time consuming that they originally thought. At Gerben Law Firm, we’ve worked with countless business owners to re-file their trademark applications after they attempted to do it themselves. This cost them significantly more time and money than if they’d worked with an experienced trademark attorney from the beginning.
- How long does it take for my trademark to be registered?
- The process to register a U.S. trademark typically takes around 8-10 months, though in some situations, it may take a year or more to obtain trademark registration. Fortunately, the date you file becomes your priority date. This means that anyone looking to file a similar mark after that date will likely be rejected. For this reason, it’s important to begin the registration process as soon as possible.
- What is the USPTO?
- The United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, 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 Seattle Businesses
- I only need one filing to cover all my trademarks.
- A trademark application only covers a single trademark. Most businesses, however, have several trademarks that need registration. For instance, your business name, logo, and slogan will all require their own trademark application and registration. Contact Gerben Law Firm to learn which aspects of your business will benefit from trademark registration.
- My competitor didn’t register its name or logo, so I can trademark it for myself.
- The United States is a common law country, which means that if someone is using a trademark in the marketplace, they have certain rights to the mark, even if it has not yet been registered. Work with an attorney to determine whether the trademark you plan to register is available.
- The process to register a trademark is easy, so a do-it-yourself legal website is just as effective as hiring an attorney.
- Taking the DIY approach is great for some aspects of growing your business, but trademark registration isn’t one of them. Filing a trademark can be a complicated process which requires dozens of legal decisions along the way. Hiring an attorney will allow you to focus on building your business, while also increasing your likelihood of approval. In fact, a study by the University of North Carolina found that applications submitted with the help of an attorney increased the likelihood of approval by up to 50%!
- The USPTO conducts a trademark search, so I really don’t need to do one before filing.
- If your USPTO examiner finds a confusingly similar trademark is already in use, your application could be rejected, and your filing fee lost. It’s important to conduct a comprehensive trademark search before you submit your application and pay your fees to the USPTO. If your search reveals an existing mark, you can work with your attorney to make the necessary changes before filing.
- The symbols “TM” and “®” mean the same thing.
- The trademark registration symbol ® provides public notice that your trademark has been federally registered. Using the ® prior to obtaining your federal trademark registration is a violation of federal law in the United States. Until your application has been approved by the USPTO, you can use the ™ symbol.
The Number of Trademarks Registered by Seattle Businesses (by Year)
How many trademarks have Seattle, WA businesses registered over the years? Gerben Law Firm 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 Seattle Businesses
Businesses in Seattle are inspired by the rich history of the city. Whether you are just starting out or have owned a successful business for some time, it’s important to work with a trademark attorney. From conducting a comprehensive trademark search to drafting a trademark application and monitoring your trademark’s use, an experienced trademark attorney will guide you through the entire process and ensure you and your business are protected from infringement.
Imagine that a group of friends open a food truck and begin operating it in Downtown Seattle. Because of Seattle’s culinary influences from around the world, the friends decided on the name Emerald City Fusion for their truck, which sells food with a coastal Asian flair. They are aware of a restaurant in Sammamish called Emerald Fusion, but they have no plans to operate their food truck in Sammamish, and they’ve chosen a much different logo and menu, so they don’t see any potential infringement risks.
Eventually, the owners of the Emerald Fusion restaurant learn of the food truck. Customers visiting Downtown Seattle had confused the food truck with their favorite Sammamish restaurant. Because Emerald Fusion registered their mark with the UPSTO, they are well within their rights to send a cease-and-desist letter to the food truck owners. They will now be forced to change their business name and branding, including their truck’s signage and menus, which could result in thousands of dollars in expenses and lost revenue.
By working with a trademark attorney, businesses of any size can feel confident to build and grow their brands without the fear of infringement. Contact Gerben Law Firm to learn more about protecting your business through trademark registration.