When it comes to registering your trademark, don’t be tempted by DIY legal sites that provide little guidance and assistance throughout the process. Work with an experienced trademark attorney to ensure your trademark application process runs smoothly and quickly.
As you begin the process to register your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, you may be wondering if you can manage it on your own. Whether you are looking to save a few dollars or you’re simply a DIY person by nature, it’s important to note that the USPTO highly recommends the use of a trademark attorney to complete your comprehensive search and trademark registration. Consider these pros and cons of each approach to trademark registration.
The Do-it-Yourself Approach
It’s understandable that new business owners are budget conscious. From designing a product to marketing and hiring employees, the costs can add up quickly. Because of this, some owners, in an effort to cut costs, may want to take advantage of one of the many legal sites advertising DIY trademark searches and registrations. Unfortunately, while the upfront cost to use these sites may be lower, the decision to register your trademark without the help on an experienced attorney may end up costing you more in the long run.
One reason for this is the comprehensive trademark search (learn how to conduct a trademark search). Before you file your trademark application, you will need to determine if the mark is available for registration. DIY searches done through legal sites, or even Google, are very inexpensive, but they tend to only alert you to exact matches to your trademark. Most trademark disputes, however, do not arise from exact matches, but rather, similar matches to your trademark which may cause confusion in the marketplace. Once you file your application with the USPTO, your assigned examiner will also search for similar matches to the mark. If the examiner determines the mark is already in use, your registration may be rejected. You will then need to invest more time and money as you rework your mark and pay to refile your application at a later date.