Do I Need a Lawyer to File a Trademark?

December 31st, 2013 | by Patsy Sinclair
Do I Need a Lawyer to File a Trademark?

Filing a trademark is incredibly important if you want to protect your business name, logo, or the names of your products and services. Truth be told, filing a trademark isn’t very difficult, but it can be a little bit difficult to understand if you aren’t 100% sure what you are looking for.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

The short answer to this question is NO. You can easily go online and file your trademark without consulting an attorney first. There are occasions where the trademark office may object to your trademark. In that instance you have two choices – to fight it on your own or hire a trademark attorney to help you out. Still, the latter isn’t always necessary.

Will My Filing Be Free without a Lawyer?

No. The fee isn’t for a lawyer, it’s for the actual filing. When you file your application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) you are paying a nonrefundable filing fee. The fee currently stands at $275.00.

When Would I Want a Lawyer?

If you are wondering about whether you’re infringing on someone’s rights, you may need to hire a lawyer. A trademark lawyer can help with the research necessary to ensure your brand name or logo isn’t already being used, or being used in a similar manner. This increases the likelihood of your application being processed by the USPTO and decreases your odds of a lawsuit later on.

A trademark lawyer can also help you to fight objections to your application. He will guide you as to the right steps to take or help you to find the reason for the objection. You may, unfortunately, need to change your name or brand logo if the objection is found to be valid, but a lawyer will work with you to make sure all of the important bases have been researched and covered.

Does the Trademark Protect Me 100%?

The trademark protects you against others using your trademark to describe the “goods and services” you listed on your application. You should be protected in the same field, but if someone in a similar but not related field uses the same mark, or a similar mark, your brand effectiveness may become diluted – or more difficult to associate with your name. If you fear this might happen, your trademark lawyer may be able to help you word the application in a way that better protects your rights.

Trademarks are important to your business – especially if you think you have something that will become wildly popular. If you can afford it, at least consult with an attorney for guidance before doing your application. Better safe than sorry.