One important safeguard is to file any trademarks your business may need.
Got a great business idea? Then prepare yourself. Someone will try to steal it.
According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), trademarks usually protect “brand names and logos used on goods and services.” Trademarks are usually needed for products that use logos, designs, words, or phrases.
Typically the name of your business does not need to be trademarked. The USPTO states “[U]se of a business name does not necessarily qualify as trademark use, though other use of a business name as the source of goods or services might qualify it as both a business name and a trademark.” Usually your state or local jurisdiction register business names.
Once you’ve decided that a trademark is right for you, the next step is to submit an application to the USPTO.
There are many things you need to do in order to prepare for and submit your application. The USPTO does not require you to have a patent attorney, although they strongly encourage you to get one that can help you with the application process.
Here are some reasons why you should hire a trademark attorney to help you.
Trademark attorneys have dedicated their careers to practicing and learning trademark law. They have years of experience and knowledge and will be able to advise you.
Filing for a trademark is a long and complicated process that can be extremely confusing if you are not familiar with the law and legal terminology. A trademark attorney has all the information you will need to know and will spare you the long, frustrating, and confusing Google searches.
Attorneys experienced in trademark law can provide invaluable legal advice that can save you both time and money in the long run.
People who use an attorney to apply for trademarks are 50% more likely to get approved by the USPTO when the application is filed by an attorney.
Although using an attorney gives you a better chance of getting your trademark approved, it does not mean that your application is a shoe-in. An attorney will examine your application and be able to advise you if the process is even worth going through at all.
There may be a chance that a certain law or other trademark prevents yours from being accepted. If someone files a trademark before you, they can prevent your trademark application from going through.
An attorney can conduct a thorough search, referred to as a clearance search, telling you anything that may conflict with your trademark and application.
Having this information before you file your application is critical as it will rather than save you time and money in the long run.
The smallest of errors on the application or similarities to other trademarks can cause your application to be rejected. Changing the application and reapplying will be difficult. An attorney will make sure everything is filed properly the first time.
If your application is refused and any objections or questions come up, an attorney can send in a response on your behalf.
2. Attorneys will enforce and maintain your rights by representing you.
After your trademark has been approved, you still have to pay attention to its use. People may illegally use or copy your trademark. If this happens, you have rights and can take legal action.
An attorney can help you keep an eye on your trademarks use in the market. An attorney can also advise you on what legal actions you can or cannot take if you think you believe trademark infringement is happening.
They can also represent you if someone else accuses you of trademark infringement.
3. Foreign applicants are required to have a trademark lawyer.
A person who has a foriegn domicile must be represented by an attorney who is licensed to practice law in the United States according to USPTO rules.
4. It can save you money.
Although you may want to save some money by filing your own trademark, it can actually cost you more money to do so on your own.
Applying for a trademark is a very tedious process and if you are not well versed in trademark law, it can be very easy and likely to make a mistake or have your application rejected.
If this happens, not only will your application be less likely to be accepted again, but it will also cost even more money to re-file or fix any errors in the application.
At the end of the day, hiring an attorney to help with the trademark process will save you a lot of headaches as well as dollars.
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