Paul C. VanSlyke, Senior Counsel at Hoover Slovacek LLP
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Four reasons to use a trademark attorney

From coming up with a proposition to overcoming operational challenges, successfully running a business requires a lot of creative effort. It is understandable that you would want to protect these efforts from competitors. Registering a trademark can help protect your brand and business from exploitation. However, the process is not as straightforward as you might expect.

As an entrepreneur, you may want to register your trademark independently. After all, you already do everything else for your business, and with all the online resources available, hiring an attorney may seem like an unnecessary expense. However, experts suggest you should invest in an attorney to register your trademark. Here are four reasons why:

1. Save time and money

While it may seem counter-intuitive, hiring an attorney to help you with your trademark registration can save you money in the long run. This is because the trademark process is not as simple as it may seem, and filing fees for trademarks are non-refundable regardless of the outcome. If your application is rejected, you will also have to go through the process from the start and spend another several months waiting for your patent.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) suggests that business owners use an attorney to help them with their filing process. While the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) is available for anyone to view, “a trademark attorney can conduct a more comprehensive search for potential problems with your use of a proposed mark than you will be able to conduct in TESS.”

Studies have shown that using an attorney can lead to a 50% increase in the chances of a successful trademark application.

2. Pre-empt future trademark issues

Even if you are able to successfully register a trademark, you may not be properly setting your trademark up for the future. There are numerous complications that arise from registered trademarks. Many of these issues arise from a lack of foresight at the time the trademark was registered. Having a trademark attorney help you with the registration process from the beginning can pre-emptively avoid these costly issues down the road.

3. Personalized expert advice

Even if you have a properly registered trademark, you still may find another company violating your trademark. In this unenviable position, it may become necessary to hire an attorney to litigate on behalf of your business’s wellbeing. If you’ve already used an attorney to file your trademark, you already have a skilled and experienced trademark attorney who has intimate knowledge about your business and intellectual property. This means that they will be able to advise you best on your legal options in the future without spending the extra time to get to know your trademark’s intricacies.

4. Free up time for other issues

As a business owner, you constantly have numerous priorities competing for your attention. While you certainly may be capable of registering your own trademark, delegating this process to an attorney will free you up to put out other fires.

Letting a trademark attorney help you out with their expertise will allow you to get back to doing what you do best: running your business.

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