When it comes to filing for rights to protect a brand in Tampa Bay, there are many questions that a trademark lawyer can answer for you. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions.

1. What is a Trademark?

A trademark, or service mark, is essentially a brand name. Simply put, it is a word, name, symbol, or group of words used to differentiate sellers of goods or services from one another or to identify the source of the goods.

2. How Do You Register for a Trademark?

To register a mark, you will need to file an application with the USPTO. You can access the online application by visiting USPTO.gov. Before you begin the registration process, check the electronic search system to ensure someone else has not already registered your mark or logo for your goods or services. The USPTO will not accept an application if the mark is too similar to another already established. If your mark is distinct enough, you may then proceed to the TEAS and fill out an application.

3. What is the TEAS?

TEAS, the Trademark Electronic Application System, is the online method for filing forms with the USPTO. Through this system, you can submit forms and applications online.

4. Is There a Fee to File a Trademark?

Yes, there is a fee for filing with the USPTO. Regular filing through the TEAS costs $400 per class of goods or services. TEAS Reduced Costs has a fee of $275 per class and requires more information than regular filing, but not as much as TEAS Plus. TEAS Plus filings costs $225 per class, but are very strict in regards to the required information.

To pay this fee, you can use a credit card, automated deposit account, or electronic funds transfer.

5. Do I Need a Trademark Lawyer?

While a trademark lawyer is not required by law, it is recommended to have a professional on your team when navigating the rules and procedures the USPTO sets forth. An experienced trademark lawyer takes care of matters like yours on a regular basis. Not only are they familiar with the rules, regulations, and processes of filing, but they also know how to deal with any issues that might arise. While hiring a Tampa Bay attorney does not guarantee results, it does lower your risk of making mistakes.

6. Why Should I File a Trademark for My Brand?

Like hiring a trademark lawyer, registering your brand is not a legal requirement. Some businesses never go through the process. However, registering your trademark is beneficial for your business. By claiming ownership over your brand, you get federal protection. You have the right to use your mark not only in Tampa Bay but throughout the United States and its territories. If someone infringes on your rights, you might be entitled to monetary damages. In the same way, registering might save you from infringing on someone else’s rights. If, during the process, you discover someone else has already claimed ownership over the mark, you can stop using it immediately and create something new.

Larson & Larson

At Larson & Larson, your intellectual property is our top priority. Since 1987, our firm has been assisting residents of Tampa Bay and the surrounding areas with gaining rights through trademarks, copyrights, patents, and more. We provide legal services and counseling to establish, maintain, and enforce intellectual property rights. For an experienced, professional trademark lawyer, visit us online or call us at (813) 223-3226.