A registered trademark offers business value, legal protection, peace of mind, and the ability for your company to develop more fully. Many modern “do-it-yourself” legal programs boast that for a small fee any individual can draft and file their own legal documents, including trademark applications to be filed with the USPTO.
There are, however, a number of circumstances – some obvious, others not – where it is strongly advisable to consult with a trademark attorney before expending any time or money on potentially valueless filings. For example, your mark may all ready be used by others – under Federal registration or not – and your application will be quickly denied, without a refund for fees paid.
- A trademark attorney can conduct a more comprehensive search and offer thorough advice on whether your mark is likely to gain registration.
- A trademark attorney can recommend alternatives to filing an application for a mark that is unlikely to gain registration.
- A trademark attorney can respond to USPTO office actions that are issued during the application process.
- A trademark attorney can help you protect your registered trademark by assisting with third-party infringers, licensing matters and ensuring that all strict deadlines are met for renewal dates.
Intellectual property is a valuable business asset, and trademark applications should not be approached lightly or legitimate rights can easily be lost. The initial savings through use of a do-it-yourself type of program may by outweighed by extra fees that add up during prosecution of the trademark application if it is not properly completed at the time of submission, if there are other users of the mark or similar marks, if the wrong application is used, if strict deadlines are missed, or if other issues existed that could have been avoided by consulting a trademark attorney in advance.