*Please note that while Gerben Law Firm is not located in California, it can assist businesses from California in registering a federal trademark because it is a federal matter.
Stockton, California has a rich history of entrepreneurship and business development, dating back to the gold rush of the 1800s. Whether you plan to open a winery in Tracy or a bakery on the Miracle Mile, you may want to consider registering for a federal trademark to protect you and your growing business. Since Gerben Law Firm was established in 2008 by trademark attorney Josh Gerben, our attorneys have registered thousands of trademarks for clients from all 50 states. Our clients include companies of all sizes, as well as individuals. No matter your industry, we have attorneys ready to help with all of your trademark needs.
Gerben Law Firm is based in Washington, DC but assists clients in federal trademark matters from across the country, including from Stockton.
Federal Trademark Registration for your Stockton Business
Top Questions Stockton CA Businesses Have About Obtaining a Trademark
- Why should I register a trademark?
- A trademark protects those things that represent your company to your customers. This typically includes words, names, phrases, and symbols. A unique trademark distinguishes your company from your competitors and protects you from competitors using a similar trademark. However, selecting your trademark is not enough. To ensure protection, you need to clear and register your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
- Do I need an attorney to file my trademark?
- o Some new business owners decide to file their own trademark application with the USPTO in an effort to save money. Unfortunately, filing a trademark application without the assistance of a trademark attorney could end up costing these businesses more in the long run. In some cases, businesses spend more money fixing and re-filing their trademark than they would have spent if they’d worked with an attorney. By having a trademark attorney walk through the process with you from the beginning, you ensure that your application is filled out correctly and that the process moves forward in a timely manner.
- When should I start the trademark process?
- Start the process as soon as possible, ideally before you open your business or order something expensive (such as signage). The longer you wait to register your trademark, the greater the chance that you could encounter an issue. You do not want to be in a position where you open your business unknowingly infringing on a competitor’s trademark. If a trademark search shows that there is a high likelihood that your mark is not being used by another business, you should file the federal trademark application as soon as possible. The filing date of your trademark application becomes your priority date nationwide on the trademark. Therefore, anyone filing a similar mark after this date will not be given priority.
- What are International Classes?
- The United States Patent and Trademark Office has 47 different groups of goods and services known as International Classes. While filing your trademark, you may register for one class or several classes, depending on the goods or services you are offering.
- How do I know in which class(es) I should file my trademark?
- Determining which classes to file for can be challenging. The critical element is to include goods and/or services in your application that you are actually offering, or, have a clear intent to offer in the near future. Including items just because you do not want competitors to offer those items under your name would be fraudulent and could lead to the refusal of your trademark application, or, cancellation of your registration at a later date.
Common Misunderstandings about Filing Trademarks for Stockton Based Businesses
- I registered my trademark with the State of California’s trademark registry, so I do not need to do anything further.
- While registering with your state won’t hinder your trademark protection, it will not ensure protection outside of your state. The process to apply for a federal trademark is typically more complicated than a state trademark.
- I am fully protected because I applied to protect my logo.
- While registering a trademark, you have the option of filing for a “word mark” or a “design mark.” A word mark will protect a specific word inherently (without reference to any specific font or design). It is typically preferable to file one application for your word mark and a separate application for your logo (or design mark). This is because if you only file a design mark, and, your logo changes in the future, your federal registration would cease to be effective on the design mark.
- I can register a competitor’s brands with the USPTO in an effort to stop my competitor from using them.
- It is a fraud to register a trademark that you know does not belong to you. This could result in your trademark being cancelled and can also make you susceptible to liability. Consult a trademark attorney to know your rights and limitations in registering a trademark.
- I can’t afford to register my trademark.
- Many new businesses are concerned about budgets. While certain legal tasks are temping to overlook for budgetary reasons, it can end up costing more in the long run if your trademark is not handled correctly from the start. Also, there are trademark registration services available (like ours) that are typically budget friendly for entrepreneurs.
- While my trademark application is pending, I am able to use the “registered trademark” symbol ®.
- Using the ® symbol while your application is still pending is against federal law. Until your application is approved and registered, you can use the ™ symbol.
The Number of Trademarks Registered by Stockton Businesses (by Year)
How many trademarks have Stockton, California 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 Stockton Businesses
When opening a new business, owners often focus first on marketing, location, and products, leaving little room in the budget for trademark registration. This may seem like a low priority in the business plan, but new business owners need to consider the risks of going without a trademark and the benefits of protecting their business early on (we offer trademark protection).
Consider this scenario: Anna has decided to take a risk and begin jarring and selling her homemade salsas in Stockton. Because she uses only fresh ingredients in her salsa, Anna has chosen the name “Fresh Select Salsas” for her products. She designs specialty labels for her jars and creates signage with her logo. Anna considers registering her name and logo with USPTO, but ultimately decides that her business is too small to be justify the cost.
Anna plans to sell her salsas at farmers’ markets in and around Stockton. She does a Google search of the product name in the Stockton area, which turns up no matches. However, Anna’s salsas eventually become so popular at the markets in Stockton that she begins to sell them online as well. Because Anna did not apply for a trademark early on, a process that would have included a comprehensive national search, she now risks infringing on a similar product in another area. This could ultimately lead to not being able to sell products in a specific geographic area at best, and at worst, could mean that she needs to change her name and logo completely.
By working with a trademark attorney to register a trademark, even small businesses like Anna’s can have the confidence to move forward, knowing that they can invest in their businesses without the risk of infringement and/or needing to rebrand in the future.