How to Register a Trademark in Florida
If you're in the process of branding your business, you've probably considered how to register a trademark. Unfortunately, registering your trademark isn't as simple as just throwing it on a website or in an advertisement and hoping it sticks. In order for a mark to be eligible for federal trademark registration, it must be distinctive. It should not be confusingly similar to another mark (or generic term) already registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
A Unique Mark
Your trademark should be unique and descriptive. Avoid selecting a generic term, such as "fitness" or "academy," which could be confused with similar marks owned by others. Further, avoid common words and phrases (such as "online store") that may mislead customers into thinking they are dealing with a different business than yours.
Your trademark should not be confusingly similar to another registered or pending mark, and it should not create an unintentional association between your goods or services and those of another party's goods or services.
Register with the Florida Department of State (FDOS).
To register your trademark in Florida, you must first file an application with the Florida Department of State (FDOS). To begin the process, visit the FDOS website and select "Trademark Information" from the list of categories. From there, choose "Trademark Registration" and click on "Online Services." You will then be able to submit an online application for a new trademark.
If your business has already registered a mark in another state or country (e.g., if you have a federally registered trademark), you should include evidence that shows this when submitting your application. This can include documentation showing when and where it was registered as well as proof that no other party has yet claimed ownership over these rights.
Acquiring a Certificate of Status
If your trademark has been registered for less than 5 years, you will need to submit an application for a Certificate of Status. If it hasn’t yet been 5 years since the date of registration, you must submit an application every five years after that.
This document is crucial because it verifies that your trademark is still active and in good standing with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO).
Once you have completed the steps for filing your trademark, you can begin using it in Florida. You'll need to use a registered trademark symbol, TM or SM (if applicable), with the mark on all goods that are used in commerce and services that are offered in Florida.
This means that you can use your trademark on packaging and promotional material as well as advertising for those products or services. You may also use the mark on your website if it's being used exclusively by you through an online store or marketplace integration.
If you have any questions about the process of registering a trademark, contact us for help. We can provide guidance on how to select the best mark for your product or service, as well as explain how to complete the registration process with FDOS. We'll help you navigate through every step of this complex process so that you can secure your trademark in Florida.