Getting a trademark registered can be a grueling task, especially if this is your first time doing it. There’s a lot of research and paperwork that needs to be done, and with the use of a trademark attorney, this process can go a lot smoother and quicker. If you’re wondering whether you should hire a trademark attorney for your business, it all comes down to your willingness to do it on your own and your budget. The cost of a lawyer can be in the thousands, depending on where you live. The trademark application process comes with strict deadlines and many legal requirements, which can be quite hectic for some. So if you’re a busy businessperson, then you may find yourself needing the extra expertise. Overall, there are a variety of benefits that come along with working with an attorney.
Determining the Availability of a Trademark
The first step of the trademarking process is to determine whether the trademark you want has already been taken. Although you can do a search on your own using the Internet and databases like TESS on the USPTO web site, it may not be thorough enough. Due to common law rights, it isn’t required by law for businesses to register their trademarks, so there may be some that aren’t in the database and that are in another region than you. It would be a grueling task to do an in depth search for trademarks around the U.S. A trademark attorney can assist with this matter, since they have the tools and expertise to do a deeper search. The lawyer will also be able to give you legal advice regarding the trademark. Not only are you looking for a trademark that isn’t in use, but you’re also looking for one that isn’t too similar to any other business’s. This could bring lawsuits down on you, especially if that other business sells similar products or services as you.
The Trademark Registration Process
Getting your trademark registered with the USPTO can be a difficult and long process. An attorney knows the ins and outs of the trademark industry and can get everything done for you much more quickly. Beforehand, the attorney can give you counsel on how you can and should use the trademark, whether you should register it and the chances of it getting approved.
Trademarking Without an Attorney
If you decide to go at it alone, you can do so. After conducting a search for usage of the trademark you’re interested in, you can begin the application via the Web. On the USPTO web site, you can find an online application called the TEAS. It will walk you through the steps of filling out the forms. You will need to have available information and paperwork to provide to the USPTO, so make sure to go over those details beforehand. Make sure that you meet all the requirements and deadlines to avoid your application being denied.
Overall, businesses aren’t required to have a trademark attorney, but it can definitely help with getting things done more quickly. If you can afford an extra thousand or two to hire one, it may be in your best interest to do so.
Trademarks are essential for your branding. Just look at major companies like Toys R Us, Foot Locker and Walmart – they all have been trademarked.