Do You Need an Attorney to Register a Trademark in the U.S.?
The short answer is no, as long as you’re a U.S. citizen or a representative of a company that has a permanent U.S. address. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) does not require these types of applicants to be represented by an attorney. Non-U.S. citizens and companies without permanent U.S. addresses will need an attorney to file for a trademark.
Why Hire an Attorney to Register a Trademark?
Trademark law can be complex, especially for people not accustomed to working with it. There is bureaucracy involved in filing, and slight errors can set the registration process back weeks, if not months. What’s more, once a trademark is approved, the process isn’t over. There’s an ongoing chain of events to retain that trademark. Miss a step or a deadline, and the trademark could be lost. People can easily lose sight of the ongoing needs of the USPTO, but business attorneys who work extensively in this arena can stay on top of the requirements and keep the trademark active.
What Services Can an Attorney Provide for Registering Trademarks?
They can provide extensive services, starting from the moment someone comes up with an idea they would like to trademark.
The first step is research. Business attorneys who work with trademarks have experience understanding the finer points of the USPTO regulations around what can and can’t be trademarked. They can conduct research into whether the requested trademark is too similar to existing trademarks or if it’s simply too vague. That prevents the company from wasting time and money filing for something that won’t be approved.
Attorneys can also help people navigate the required components of the trademark application. There are several specific requirements that must be fulfilled for the trademark to be considered.
They can also provide legal advice. This is something that the USPTO’s trademark attorneys are not allowed to do. They can give information about the process but not specific legal advice about a particular application. Hiring your own attorney overcomes that obstacle.
If the application is denied, your attorney can advise as to whether or not it’s a good idea to file an appeal. They can then run the appeal process for you. Those processes have strict protocols and schedules that an experienced attorney will know and be able to work with.
Let Us Advise You
If you need assistance with the trademark filing process, call us at 317-663-9190 to set up a meeting with one of our experienced business lawyers.