When individuals start a new business, they try to save costs by filing their trademark applications themselves and without the assistance of trademark counsel. In 100% of the cases I have reviewed where the trademark applicant does not hire a trademark attorney, the trademark applicant makes a fatal flaw.
I am contacted almost daily by individuals who wish to enforce their trademark rights or who need help completing the registration of their trademark application. Having reviewed many cases where clients filed their trademark application without a trademark attorney, I say without hesitation that you should hire a trademark attorney to draft and file your trademark application.
Trademark Applications Are Difficult
When new clients come to Tucker IP to enforce a trademark, I review the trademark registration to determine if the trademark was properly filed before moving forward with litigation. In every single case I have encountered where the client files the trademark application without the help of an attorney, that client has made fatal errors to their trademark application. In fact, I have not been approached by a single person to date who has an enforceable trademark registration when the person either filed the application without the assistance of a trademark attorney, or used a do-it-yourself online service. And I believe the damages that I have seen go up in smoke as a result of self filing trademarks has amounted to millions of dollars.
It Takes Experience
Based on my years of experience as a patent attorney and a trademark attorney, the worst case scenario occurs when a person or business files a trademark application without a lawyer and the trademark ultimately issues because that trademark owner may not find out that their trademark registration is invalid for five, ten, or even fifteen years, maybe more. The trademark owner usually finds out about the mistake when it’s too late, which is usually when the trademark owner wants to enforce the trademark. Even worse, the trademark owner may need to hire a trademark attorney and start the registration process over. And as a result of the invalid trademark registration, the trademark owner may be barred from excluding competitors who entered the market during the time period that the trademark registration was invalid.
Consider also that trademark owner may find out about the invalid registration when they attempt to sell their company because the buyer typically will hire a trademark attorney to review the trademark registrations. In which case, the trademark owner may lose money from the sale of that business due to invalid trademark registrations, or worse, find themselves unable to sell the company at all. This is particularly true when the business is being bought for the brand name.
As a final thought, if your trademark identifies a seasonal product, a trendy product, or simply a product that is easily replicated, having a valid trademark registration is essential to quickly enjoining competitors and copy-cats. These types of products rely on strong trademark rights to prevent a loss in market share.
In the end, filing a trademark application yourself is likely to cost you and your company far more in the long haul. Hire a trademark attorney and avoid the costly mistake that so many people make. Moreover, a trademark attorney is a truly valuable knowledge base and likely to provide benefit for your business and your brand.