You don’t need to be an experienced attorney to file for a trademark. It’s not that hard.
Don’t get me wrong: If you don’t know what you’re doing, there’s a good chance you’ll get it wrong. But it’s not that hard to do. You’ll have to spend a whole bunch of time online reading and researching to figure out how to do it. And even then, if it’s your first time, the odds of you getting it right are about as good as they would be with any other form of gambling.
But, still, it can be done.
The hard part in trademark law isn’t the actual filing – it’s the search. If you don’t know trademark law, and you don’t have the right kind of software, there’s absolutely no chance you’ll know how to do a proper trademark search. You just won’t know what to look for.
There are a variety of reasons founders get trademark applications wrong. One simple reason is that people often just search for the exact name that they’re looking to use. But that isn’t good enough. Let me give you an easy example to explain why: Imagine a scenario where there are two companies: The first is a company called Trekker Software; the second is a new company that wants to call itself Trecker Software. Let’s pretend the company Trekker Software already has a trademark in the Class 009, which is the international class for software. The company that wants to call itself Trecker Software looks up its proposed name on the USPTO Tess site, finds no one using the name, buys the domain name, and then files a trademark on their own without consulting an attorney. Then Trecker Software starts developing the website, buys a bunch of t-shirts, prints out hundreds of business cards, and tells everyone in town that this is the name of the company.
The only problem is, there is a 100% chance that this mark is going to be rejected by the USPTO. It’s an easy mistake that could have been avoided by consulting an attorney. But it will be another four months before they get that news from the USPTO will reject their application. In the meantime, the company will spend hundreds of hours and perhaps thousands of dollars developing a brand for Trecker Software, when, if they had done a little due diligence, they would have known it was a total waste of time. It’s just a matter of time before the USPTO and Trekker Software shut them down.
Then they have to start all over again.
If you don’t do a proper trademark search, there’s a good chance that the whole process of filing a trademark is going to end up wasting you a lot of time and money. There are lots of different reasons your mark could be rejected. And if you file on your own, there’s a good chance you’ll fall prone to one of these errors.
Without the proper research, this is a problem you could run into again and again.
The real value of a professional trademark search is the security of knowing with reasonable assurance that the name of your company is safe to use.
For $525, you can hire a law firm to perform a professional quality search. You’ll know exactly where you stand. Our firm even takes the extra step by providing a precise percentage estimate of the likelihood with which we estimate, based on our experience, that your trademark will be approved.
Think about whether all the time you spend developing a website, an app, a company, and a brand is worth $525 to you.
If it is, hire an attorney to help you do it right.