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Florida Trademark Registration: How to for Business Names & Logos

Florida trademark registration

You want your customers to recognize you in a crowd. Your name and logo connect you to your audience quickly. Protect these vital tools by registering them as Florida trademarks.

Florida Trademark Registration Factors

The following factors can help you decide whether Florida trademark registration is right for you.

How Much Does It Cost to Trademark a Name in Florida?

Florida trademark registration and renewal costs $87.50 per class. Fees for other processes such as name changes or trademark cancelation vary from $8.75 to $52.50. 

How Often Does a Florida Trademark Need to Be Renewed?

Florida trademarks must be renewed every five years. Renewal applications and fees must be sent at least six months before the renewal due date. 

Florida Trademark Law Only Applies Within the State

A trademark registration in Florida limits protections to the state's boundaries. However, if your business primarily deals within the state or region, this level of protection is probably enough. For example, a local newspaper might not need its trademark to apply elsewhere because outside infringement is so unlikely to occur or do real harm. 

If you believe your trademark needs to have greater protections, consider registering a trademark at the federal level with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Federal registration comes with nationwide protections and the Trademark and Appeal Board (TTAB) where decisions regarding trademark disputes are made.

Why Register a Trademark in Florida in the First Place?

Registering a trademark in Florida gives you the exclusive right to use and enforce your name or logo throughout the state. It eliminates the fear of someone plagiarizing your brand name or service mark or being misrepresented by a newcomer's name or logo that matches yours too closely. 

Without a registered trademark, dishonest entities can use your name or logo to mislead the public into believing they are doing business with you when they are not. These types of deceptive trading practices can seriously damage your reputation and potentially harm the public.

You automatically have some regional protections by using your name and logo. This is called a common-law trademark. However, these protections are limited. Registering your trademark protects your intellectual property throughout the state of Florida. 

How to Register a Trademark in Florida

Florida Department of State Division of Corporations provides steps for how to trademark a business name or logo in Florida:

1. Create Your Name or Logo

Before trademarking your name or service mark, consider whether it is distinctive. Common words or phrases receive less protection than distinctive ones. For example, if you name your company 100 Ice Cream Flavors, you cannot expect other companies not to use the words “ice cream,” even though they are prominent in your name.  

For a strong trademark, consider distinct names not directly related to your product. The name Ben and Jerry's has strong trademark protection because their name doesn't relate too closely with other brands in their field. 

When creating your name, think long-term. Avoid regional names if you consider expanding out of your region. You don't want your name to limit your potential. 

Creating at least 3 names and logos can help you determine the best option for branding and prepare you for the next step in the application process.

2. Conduct a Name or Logo Search

With several names and logos prepared, conduct a search of existing trademarks to see if your preferred name or logo is already trademarked or in use. This search can save you from committing trademark infringement by matching another company's name or logo too closely. You cannot use a lack of knowledge of the other trademark as a defense in court. It is your responsibility to ensure your name or logo is unique. Creating several versions of your name and logo provides you with options in case your first choice of name or logo is already in use.

A name or logo doesn't have to be a registered trademark to be a company's intellectual property. If a regional business entity uses a particular name or logo, it has a common law trademark even though it has never been registered. Common law trademarks have regional legal protections and are not necessarily enforced federally. 

3. Fill Out the Application

Once you've searched and know you have an original name or logo to trademark, fill in the Florida trademark application online or print and fill it out by hand. The trademark must be filed in the business or business owner's name. 

Be as specific as you can when filling out the application. Include drawings of logos and how they are used for actual use trademarks or plans for how they will be used for intended use trademarks. For logos already in use, show proof of actual use and when use began. 

4. Mail the Application and Filing Fee

Florida does not currently have an online filing system for trademark applications. You must mail your application to the address listed on it along with the filing fee.

Key Takeaways on Trademark Registration in Florida

When considering how to trademark a name or logo in Florida, keep these key takeaways in mind for a smooth process:

  • Florida trademarks protect your business name and logo from plagiarism and intellectual property theft.
  • Florida trademark laws only apply in Florida while federal trademarks apply nationwide.
  • Follow these steps to learn how to trademark a name or logo in Florida:
    • Create your name and logo.
    • Search for similar names and logos.
    • Fill out the application and be specific.
    • Mail in your application and trademark registration fee.

Need Help with a Business Name or Logo Trademark in Florida?

If you need help learning how to trademark a name or logo in Florida, Cueto Law Group can help. They have established themselves as a leading law firm in Miami, Florida, and will use their expertise to guide you through the trademarking process. They can help your start-up trademark its new name and logo or walk your established corporation through a rebranding. Whatever legal advice you require, as your trademark attorney Cueto Law Group ensures your name and logo are legally protected and will remain uniquely yours. We will also fight for your trademark rights.

Contact Cueto Law Group now for assistance with any of your Florida trademark needs.

FAQs

Here are the answers to a few more frequently asked questions about Florida trademarks:

Can I Register a Trademark by Myself?

You can register a trademark yourself by following the guidelines found at Florida State Divisions of Corporations or in the article above.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Trademarking in Florida?

You do not need a lawyer to obtain a Florida trademark. However, a trademark lawyer improves your trademarking experience in the following ways:
Provide insights into the registration process
Explain the trademarking process in layman’s terms
Guide you through the procedures
Search for related trademarks to ensure yours is unique
Handle the paperwork

What is the Cheapest Way to Trademark?

The cheapest way to trademark is to file in your state instead of federally. A federal trademark application costs from $225-$600 depending on your filing method. On the other hand, the average state trademark costs only $50-$150.
In Florida, a trademark costs $87.50 per class you register for. The trademark application contains the classifications list.

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Cueto Law Group, P.L.

Based out of Miami, Cueto Law Group offers an extensive range of legal and business counsel to individuals, entrepreneurs, and corporations.

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