Not sure how to register a trademark in Florida to protect your business’s intellectual property? This article provides the steps you need to take to keep your name and logo safe.
Registering a trademark for your company’s logo or name prevents other parties from using your intellectual property for commercial purposes. Your company’s name, logo, and other identifying information help you stand out to customers. By protecting them with a registered trademark, you can ensure that others do not benefit from your branding or take away from your business’s notoriety. If you’re wondering how to register a trademark in Florida, read on to learn more about the process.
The trademark laws of Florida provide three types of registration: arbitrary, fanciful, and suggestive. Big box department store Target provides an example of an arbitrary trademark, which consists of a term that has value to the corporation but may also be used in a generic sense. On the other hand, a fanciful trademark consists of terms created specifically for a corporation. Verizon is a good example of a fanciful trademark. Lastly, a suggestive trademark highlights the characteristics of a brand, offering an indication of the company’s activities, such as Netflix, which provides access to movies (flicks) over the internet.
The Fundamentals of Trademark Registration
If you hold a trademark in Florida, you may register it in two distinct ways. First, it is possible to file with the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations.
Registering a trademark at the federal level is also possible by filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). While state-registered trademarks are less costly and simpler to register, federal trademarks provide greater protections.
In Florida, trademarks are created on the date of their first use; thus, a trademark applicant must provide proof of first use. After completing all documents, the applicant must submit them together with the required filing money and await an official answer.
Typically, processing a trademark application might take up to six weeks. After their formal registration, Florida trademarks are valid for five years. In Florida, trademark owners must commence the renewal procedure six months before the mark’s expiry.
Florida Trademark Law Applies Only Inside the State
A Florida trademark registration restricts protections to the state’s borders. However, if your organization does all of its operations inside the state or area, this degree of protection is likely sufficient. For instance, a local restaurant may not register its trademark abroad since it is precluded by federal law.
Consider registering a trademark at the federal level with the United States Patent and Brand Office if you are using your trademark in two states and your trademark requires further protection (USPTO). Federal registration provides national protections.
Advantages of a Trademark
The name and logo of a business are often some of its most valuable assets, which means registering a trademark is a smart idea. By registering your trademark in Florida, you restrict others from utilizing your name or design and get protection inside the state if someone infringes on your intellectual property. Without a registered trademark, another business may damage your reputation, either inadvertently or through dishonest business practices. While a common-law trademark may offer some protection against these types of situations, those protections are restricted. Once you have a Florida registered trademark, you may market and promote your products knowing you are protected.
How to Register a Trademark in Florida
- Create the name or logo you want to trademark – When creating your business name and logo, it’s important to think long-term. Creating a distinct name and logo will offer more protection than if you use common words and symbols. Consider creating three different options for each before proceeding.
- Conduct a trademark search – Once you have three distinct options, conduct a search using the USPTO’s trademark database as well as Florida records. Doing this will ensure you do not infringe on another entity’s trademark.
- Complete the application – Once you determine that your chosen name and logo are unique, complete the trademark application.
- Submit your application and fee – Finally, mail your application and filing fee to the address on the application. The filing fee for Florida registered trademarks is $87.50.
The process of trademarking in Florida is straightforward. However, if you are unsure how to register a trademark in Florida, you should talk to an experienced intellectual property attorney. Need help registering your trademark? The Saltiel Law Group will help you throughout the process so you can conduct business without worrying about others using your intellectual property. Talk to us today to set up a consultation.