As simple as it may look and sound, registering your trademark isn’t a piece of cake without professional help. The least filing fee for your trademark is $275, which isn’t a small amount, particularly if you are just starting up. On the other hand, you may also find hiring a lawyer out of the question due to lack of funds. However, if you file the application wrong and it gets denied, you will end up losing not only the filing fees but also your precious time as you will have to start the process from scratch again. Or even worse, you will be required to answer any questions by the trademark examining lawyer that you wouldn’t be able to focus on your startup/business operations. Hence the question ‘Do I need to hire a Trademark Attorney?’
Why Hire a Trademark Attorney?
While it all depends on your situation, but hiring a trademark attorney can save you a lot of hassle. The attorneys are experienced in handling such issues and prosecuting the trademarks before USPTO (the US Patent and Trademark Office). They are equipped with the right expertise to handle your trademark registration, which is indeed a legal procedure with strict guidelines, timelines, and procedures. Here’s how a trademark attorney can help you in handling the whole trademark registration process efficiently:
- Recognize the problems that may arise during your registration process beforehand, and be prepared to handle them head-on. For instance, a similar company may have trademark rights but wouldn’t show up on the Electronic search of the USPTO. The lawyer will know how to conduct deep and thorough research for handling such cases.
- It will help you to choose a stronger mark while evaluating the strength of your proposed trademark.
- Make you understand how you can use your mark to ensure its protection.
- Preparation and filing of your trademark registration that is fully compliant with the requirements of the USPTO.
- Be able to figure out the likelihood of your registration to be successful and advise you accordingly.
- Help to respond and handle the issues that may arise during the application process and after it gets assigned to an examining attorney.
- Aid you in the enforcement of your trademark after it gets registered. As the enforcement of the trademark isn’t done by the USPTO but by the trademark owner itself. So, your trademark attorney will help you monitor your applications as well as use your trademarks while avoiding infringements.
Common Mistakes People Make while Registering on Their Own
Here are a few mistakes that you as a trademark owner can make on your own if you choose to not get help from a trademark attorney:
- There are two bases for filing your trademark registration. Intent to using the mark in commerce and using the mark in your commerce. While applying yourself, you can choose the wrong basis as you might not understand the actual difference between these two. As a result, you may end up with a trademark that will bring you no protection while enforcing it.
- You will be required to submit your trademark specimen during the application process. Many people submit an improper specimen and, consequently, cannot enjoy the true protection for their right mark.
- Another common mistake is to choose the wrong class of trademark while not identifying their services or goods correctly. You are required to choose a class for your products or services for protecting your trademark. Since the classification is a bit confusing, you can get it wrong while doing it yourself.
Hiring an attorney for your trademark registration is a safe way to get your startup registered.