You have manifested your vision, turned your unique idea into a brand, and put in several hours into refining the concept and bringing value to the market, but how do you protect other businesses from profiting off of your hard work? The answer is trademarks.

Generally, trademarks are used to protect your branding. A trademark can be filed to seek 

registration for the unique characteristics that represent your brand. The following are some of the items that may be used to represent or identify your goods and services: 

  • Name
  • Logo
  • Slogan
  • Sound
  • Design

In this sense, you are looking at the consumer-facing marks your customers will encounter that help them associate your particular goods or services as coming from you and your business. Ultimately these marks will represent the positive reputation and customer goodwill that you will build up over time, as it is your trademarks that consumers use to find or recognize your goods and services when encountered in the marketplace.

Can I apply for a trademark before I open my business?

Even if you have not yet opened your store front, you can still file trademark applications to secure your marks and establish your earlier claim of priority over subsequent users or applicants. This is accomplished by filing a trademark application under an “intent-to-use” basis, meaning that you intend to use the mark in commerce in the near future, at which time you must file specimen to establish your subsequent use of the mark before the application can ultimately register. This way, you obtain the benefit of an earlier filing date for your application even though the mark may not yet be in use, ensuring you will have a superior claim to any other parties who may attempt to use or register the mark thereafter. 

It is always recommended during these early stages that you file trademark applications for both the name of your brand and your logo if you have one. An application for the name on its own will provide protections over that name regardless of the stylization or format in which it may be shown. An application for the logo, while it may include wording in the design, provides protections over that overall design, including the design elements, to prevent use or incorporation by third parties into similar marks of their own. Protecting yourself from both sides like this will give you the greatest protection over your branding as you get started , providing you the tools to prevent other businesses from attempting to use confusingly similar marks, affecting your reputation and diverting potential consumers. 

In the future, you may also want to pursue trademarks on other names and logos you will use, such as the names of new collections or individual products/services where such names are unique and valuable to your brand. For the trademarking process, timeframe, and ways to expedite registration, read further at 

Can I do a trademark application by myself?

Although you can file a trademark application online (only paying government fees), the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) warns against not using an attorney. An attorney who is licensed to practice law in the U.S. and experienced in trademark law can advise you about many important legal issues. These include:

  • Determining if your chosen trademark can be legally protected;
  • Determining the appropriate filing basis for your trademark application;
  • Preparing and filing a trademark application with the USPTO that is complete and accurately identifies your goods and services;
  • Selecting an appropriate specimen that shows how your trademark is used in commerce;
  • Responding to questions and refusals to register your trademark from a USPTO trademark examining attorney;
  • Helping you understand the scope of your trademark rights and the best ways to enforce them;
  • Defending against challenges brought by others against your trademark;
  • Preparing and filing documents with the USPTO to maintain your registration; and
  • Although USPTO trademark examining attorneys can provide information about the federal registration process, USPTO employees cannot give you legal advice.

If you are a foreign-domiciled trademark applicant, you are required to be represented by an attorney who is licensed to practice law in the United States. (

If you would like to learn more about trademark registration or need assistance in registering your trademark, do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced attorneys at EPGD Business Law, with offices in Miami, FL, Washington, D.C., New York, NY, and West Palm Beach, FL. Call us at (786)-837-6787 or email us to schedule a consultation. 

*Disclaimer: this blog post is not intended to be legal advice. We highly recommend speaking to an attorney if you have any legal concerns. Contacting us through our website does not establish an attorney-client relationship.*

EPGD Business Law is located in beautiful Coral Gables. Call us at (786) 837-6787, or contact us through the website to schedule a consultation.

*Disclaimer: this blog post is not intended to be legal advice. We highly recommend speaking to an attorney if you have any legal concerns. Contacting us through our website does not establish an attorney-client relationship.*

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Eric Gros-Dubois

Eric P. Gros-Dubois founded EPGD Business Law in 2013 and is the current head of the firm’s corporate, estate planning, and tax practice, and manages the firm’s Washington D.C. office. With a JD and MBA, and a specialization in finance, Eric is able to step back and view the legal world through a commercial lens while also acting as a trusted business advisor for his clients. He does his best to be solutions oriented, and tries to think like a business owner, not just a lawyer.


*The following comments are not intended to be treated as legal advice. The answer to your question is limited to the basic facts presented. Additional details may heavily alter our assessment and change the answer provided. For a more thorough review of your question please contact our office for a consultation.

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