If you use a name or logo to identify your business’s products, you should register it with the state government. This provides proof that you created the trademark. This proof can come in handy if someone else uses a confusingly similar trademark.

Thankfully, it is possible to protect your brand with a trademark registration in Georgia. However, there is a lot of paperwork involved and the process can be time-consuming. It’s best to hire a trademark lawyer to guide you through the process. Read on to learn more about registering a trademark in Georgia.

Filing a Trademark Application in Georgia

The application to register a trademark in Georgia is available on the Georgia Secretary of State’s website. You can submit the form online. The fee is only $15. It is possible to complete the application yourself, but it’s a good idea to get legal assistance. This is because the answers to several of the form’s questions need to be carefully worded to ensure that your trademark is properly registered. For example, you need to disclaim any aspect of your trademark that you are not claiming exclusive rights to. Failing to do so can result in your application being rejected. A trademark attorney can help you with this.

Your company is also required to submit samples of products or advertisements that have the trademark prominently displayed. These products must already be available for sale. This is because you must already be using the mark in Georgia to register it with the state. If your products are valuable or bulky, pictures are acceptable instead of the products themselves.

A trademark application must also include a drawing page. This is a visual depiction of the mark. The trademark does not actually have to be hand-drawn. The name is a holdover from an era where the trademark actually would have been hand-drawn. These days, it is common to include a computer graphic.

A Trademark Attorney Can Guide You Through the Process

The trademark registration process can seem easy at first, but it is deceptively complicated. The trademark application form must be completed correctly, and your business also needs to submit acceptable samples and an acceptable drawing page. This can be difficult to do correctly if your business has not successfully registered a trademark before.

If your trademark registration application is rejected, this could provide an opportunity for another business to use your trademark. If you do not have proof that you created the trademark and started using it first, you may not have legal recourse. An experienced trademark attorney such as Initiating Protection can help your firm complete an application quickly and get it accepted the first time.

Frequently Asked Questions About Trademark Registration in Georgia

What is the legal definition of a trademark?

A trademark is a word, logo, name, or device (or any combination of these elements) used to distinguish your business’ products from the products of another company.

Does the Georgia Secretary of State enforce trademark law?

It is a common misconception that the Georgia Secretary of State enforces trademark law. This state office only provides a service that allows persons or entities to register trademarks. Companies that are struggling with trademark infringement issues would need to file suit in state courts to have trademark laws enforced.

What is the difference between a trademark and a trade name?

Many people mistakenly think that trademarks and trade names are the same thing. However, they are very different. A trade name is also called a “DBA” (doing business as) name. It is a fictitious name that identifies a certain company. Trademarks are used to identify products or services.  Also, trade names are not registered with the state. Instead, trade names are commonly registered with the county government.

It is important to note that some trade names could also qualify as trademarks. For example, some companies may offer some products under their real names and other lines under fictitious names. In this instance, the trade name could be eligible for registration as a trademark. As this issue can be confusing, it is best to discuss this with a trademark attorney.

Is trademark registration required in Georgia?

Trademark registration is not required by the state of Georgia. However, your rights in your trademark are enhanced if you register your trademark with the state.  It is essential that businesses register their trademarks so that other companies do not use their branding. Trademark registration is prima facie evidence that your company has the right to use the trademark.  It also can serve as proof of your use of the trademark in the state of Georgia. This proof would be very useful if your company decides to file a trademark infringement lawsuit.

Contact Initiating Protection today to learn more about how we can help you!