Should You Hire an Attorney to Register Your Trademark?
If you’re seeking to trademark intellectual property for your company or brand, whether it’s a product name, a logo, or a slogan, you may be tempted to do it yourself. And provided you live in the U.S., you’re eligible to do so without the help of an attorney. But going it alone isn’t always a good idea.
Intellectual property law is complex, and filing an application with no prior experience or guidance can be a tricky affair. In addition, even the most straightforward registrations can be hit with unexpected snags and hurdles, and without a background in intellectual property law, many DIYers find themselves in dead ends that can only be solved with the help of a law firm.
Still unsure of whether legal representation is right for your trademark registration? Here are some pros and cons of starting the process with a law firm and going it alone.
Pros of Hiring an Intellectual Property Lawyer
There are many very good reasons to have an experienced law firm on your side when you apply for a trademark, such as:
Advising you on the trademark process.
Just because something can be trademarked doesn’t always mean it should. That can be because it’s too similar to existing trademarks or because it isn’t unique enough. In addition, some trademarks can be approved, but are immediately targeted for litigation by competitors or big corporations. Having legal representation can be invaluable for avoiding these situations.
Ensuring your trademark is available.
Are you sure that your product name, logo, or slogan is available to be trademarked? If you try to apply for a trademark that’s already on the books, you’ll waste valuable time and money. An experienced intellectual property lawyer can help you avoid this costly mistake.
Ensuring every step of your application is accurate and prepared correctly.
Trademark applications shouldn’t be taken lightly. Mistakes can delay the process significantly, and many people are unsure of how to proceed with completing them. Note that applying for a trademark is a multi-step process that involves filling out several forms and engaging in frequent back-and-forth communication with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Obtaining peace of mind.
Registering a trademark can be one of the biggest steps you’ll take in your commercial endeavor. A strong name, logo, slogan, or other piece of intellectual property can boost your brand’s image and recognition, but going about the process in an incomplete or haphazard way can torpedo your chances of success. Don’t risk it and don’t put all the stress on your shoulders.
Corresponding with the USPTO.
The USPTO often has many questions and concerns during the trademark registration process. Even if you have a solid grasp of every other aspect of the process, you may not know how to answer their questions or address their concerns—especially if you’ve never trademarked anything in the past. When this happens, many people consult lawyers anyway, and having one from the beginning means less confusion and a smoother process.
Representing you if you go before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB).
Some trademark registrations are stalled because they must first be heard by the TTAB, which functions like the USPTO’s court system. People who are trying to register trademarks may file cases with the TTAB, and others may file cases against people who are attempting to register trademarks. Going before the TTAB is considered a legal proceeding, and it’s extremely important to have a lawyer on your side during this process.
Cons of Hiring an Intellectual Property Lawyer
When you attempt to register a trademark on your own, you don’t face any costs outside of those involved with the registration process. Hiring a lawyer costs money, but for many applicants, it can save them money because it means a much smaller chance of errors, revisions, or a failed registration.
Less control over the process
The people who register trademarks are typically people with an ownership stake in a business or other commercial endeavor. That means they’re used to exercising significant or full control over most or all aspects of day-to-day activities. Giving up control over a process as important as trademark registration can be difficult, but when it’s in the hands of an experienced and trusted law firm, the speed and quality of the results obtained are well worth it.
Contact Our Orange County Intellectual Property Lawyers Today
At Jafari Law Group, we have years of experience helping clients of all backgrounds and from all industries successfully trademark company names, product names, logos, slogans, and more. Don’t risk your registration process failing or being blindsided by litigation from a competitor or existing trademark holder. Contact us today for a free consultation.