*Please note that while Gerben Law Firm is not located in Florida, it can assist businesses from Florida in registering a federal trademark because it is a federal matter.
Tallahassee is most well-known for its universities and government, but locals know it for its entrepreneurial spirit. Founded in 2008, Gerben Law Firm has been helping clients all over the United States, including Tallahassee, register and protect their trademarks. Since that time, Josh Gerben and his team of experienced trademark attorneys have registered over 4,000 trademarks on behalf of clients large and small. Whether you are opening a coffee shop near the FSU campus or expanding a tech firm just outside of town, Gerben Law Firm’s team is ready to assist you in registering your trademark.
Federal Trademark Registration For Your Business
Top 5 Questions Tallahassee Businesses Have About Obtaining and Protecting a Trademark
- Why do I need a trademark?
- A trademark will protect items such as names, slogans and/or logos that may represent your company to your customers. Your unique trademark allows you to separate your company from competitors. A federal registration on your trademark gives you the presumption of national validity and the ability to stop competitors from using a similar trademark.
- How is a trademark different than a copyright?
- A trademark protects anything that represents a product or service from a specific business. This might include words, phrases, logos, or slogans. Copyrights, however, protect creative works like music, books, and
- When should I file my trademark application?
- You should begin the registration process as soon as possible. Ideally, filing for a trademark should be one of the very first actions you take in starting your business. For example, a trademark search should be done before you decide upon a name, logo, or slogan. Finding out that you are infringing on another business’s mark after you’ve hung a sign outside your store, printed labels for your products and begun advertising could be financially devastating. If a trademark search shows that there aren’t competitors with a similar mark, you should file as soon as possible. This is because the date you file your trademark application becomes your priority date nationwide, meaning that anyone that files a similar mark after you will not have the rights to use it.
- Does hiring a trademark attorney increase my chance of approval?
- Yes, hiring a trademark attorney can increase your chance of approval. Not only can the attorney provide you with valuable legal advice throughout the entire process, a study by the University of North Carolina actually found that trademark applications submitted with the help of an attorney increased the chances of approval by 50%.
- What is the USPTO?
- The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), a division of the Department of Commerce, 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 Tallahassee Businesses
- I can’t afford to register my trademark.
- In many cases, you can’t afford not to register your trademark. While it is easy to overlook this task for budgetary reasons, you put yourself at risk to potentially infringe on another business’s mark or have a new competitor infringe on your unique brand without protection. Both could cost you in time, legal fees, and in some cases rebranding your business. Consulting a trademark attorney is always a wise decision to protect your investment.
- I should register in as many classes as possible and include as many goods as I can think of.
- Filing a trademark for multiple classes could increase the chances that your application will be denied. Trademark applications should be limited to the goods and services that will be provided by the applicant within the next three years. A trademark attorney can help you determine which classes should be included in your application.
- Once I register my trademark, no one else can use that word on any other product.
- A federal trademark gives you protection for a similar business using a similar trademark for related goods and services. It does not keep an unrelated business from using a similar mark for goods and services. Two brands can have the same name if there is no confusion between the products or services they provide. For example, Delta Air Lines and Delta Faucets are both free to use the word ‘delta’ in their names because the goods and services they provide are vastly different.
- I did my own internet search for my trademark, so I do not need a trademark search done by an attorney.
- A simple internet search is usually not thorough enough to ensure that no one is using a similar trademark. Most search engines will only locate businesses with identical matches. Many trademark issues arise from marks that are similar, but not identical, and usually wouldn’t be pulled up in a quick Google search. A trademark attorney with professional grade software will be able to do a much more comprehensive search.
The Number of Trademarks Registered by Tallahassee Businesses (by Year)
How many trademarks have Tallahassee, Florida 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 Tallahassee Businesses
Starting a new business can be a busy time with long to-do lists and tight budgets. After perfecting a product, locating a storefront, and putting together a marketing strategy, many business owners are tempted to put off trademark registration or cut costs by taking the DIY approach. While this may save time and money upfront, the decision comes with risks that could end up costing more in the long run.
Consider this scenario: Joe sees an empty storefront between the capitol and FSU. He sees an opportunity to open a sandwich shop that will appeal to students and government officials alike. Wanting to open before school starts in the fall, Joe jumps right into planning his sandwich shop. He’s heard about trademarks and knows it’s important to be sure that he’s not using the same name as another business. Joe does a quick Google search with the name he has chosen, Capitol Subs.
No one in the region seems to be using the same name, so Joe assumes he’s free to move forward. He hangs a sign, prints menus, and buys uniforms for his staff. Things are moving along on schedule until he receives a trademark cease-and-desist letter in the mail just days before his grand opening. While his Google search showed no one using the name Capitol Subs, it failed to return similar business names, like the national chain, The Capital Sandwich. Now, Joe is forced to push back his opening and spend even more money on new signs, menus, and uniforms.
By working with a trademark attorney to register a trademark, even small businesses like Joe’s can have the peace of mind to move forward, knowing they can invest in their businesses without the risk of infringement in the future. Contact Gerben Law Firm’s experienced trademark attorneys today to begin the process of your trademark registration.