If you want to protect your brand, you should file a trademark. In order to protect your intellectual property (“IP”), you must file a trademark at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). A flat fee trademark attorney can assist you. In fact, the USPTO encourages entrepreneurs to hire a private trademark attorney.
Experienced Attorney Handles The Entire Process For You
When I started Syed Law, there were generally three options:
- Filing a trademark alone.
- Using a cheap trademark filing company.
- Hiring an expensive law firm that bills by the hour.
However, attempting to file a trademark alone almost always leads to issues. Here are some examples you can expect to encounter if you decide to file a trademark yourself:
- “use in commerce”
- “Acquired Distinctiveness”
- “intent to use”
- “Likelihood of Confusion”
If you do not know what this means, do not worry. Here, my purpose is to show that trademark filing is “the practice of law.” Of course, most entrepreneurs are not familiar with law practice, let alone trademark registration. They risk wasting precious time and money.
Feeling overwhelmed, some individuals turn to trademark filing companies to file a trademark. However, filing companies are not good alternatives to flat fee trademark attorney services. Below, I explain why.
High-Quality Services for Trademark Filing
Hiring a trademark filing company might be even worse than attempting to file a trademark yourself. Here is why a flat fee trademark attorney is a better option than a trademark filing company:
- These companies do not answer to a higher authority (example: a state licensing agency).
- They hire paralegals and non-lawyers to fill out applications.
- In some circumstances, these companies are engaging in the unauthorized law practice from outside of the United States.
However, trademark filing companies do not answer to a higher authority. Without answering to a higher authority, can a company appropriately represent you? On the other hand, a flat fee trademark attorney must diligently and competently represent every trademark client.
Additionally, a troubling number of trademark filing companies are fraudulently filing trademarks on behalf of U.S. individuals. As a result, thousands of U.S. businesses have lost (or will lose) their trademark. These services are indistinguishable from well-known trademark filing companies, and appear prominently on Google searches.
100% Transparent Pricing
As stated above, the USPTO encourages entrepreneurs to hire a private trademark attorney.
Traditional law firms offer expensive hourly rate. This leaves entrepreneurs with “sticker shock” from legal bills. In addition, while you can expect quality services from traditional law firms, you probably will have a hard time communicating with most attorneys.
I take a different approach. My firm distinguishes itself because I inform my clients about how to protect their IP and their legal options with a free consultation.
By providing flat fee trademark attorney services, I abide by three core firm values—assurance, quality, and value. Our flat fee trademark filing service is backed by years of legal experience. We commit to the highest quality legal services, and affordable fees.
In short, I encourage you to contact me regarding my flat fee trademark attorney services. Below, I discuss my Easy-3 Step Process.
How Do You File a Trademark?
If you want to protect your brand, you should file a trademark. I explain the process below.
1. Select A Name
For word marks, names that are memorable, creative, and unique are the strongest. The stronger the trademark, the more likely that the USPTO will grant registration on the Principal Register. Trademark names vary in strength. The list below shows the different trademark types by strength (strongest to weakest):
- Fanciful – a unique, made-up word (e.g., ROLEX or CLOROX).
- Arbitrary – no connection between a word and the products (e.g., APPLE or BANANA REPUBLIC).
- Suggestive – allows a consumer to create a logical connection between a word’s meaning or connotation with the final product or service (e.g., GREYHOUND or SPIRIT).
- Merely Descriptive – ineligible for registration on the Principal Register, but may receive protection on the Supplemental Register. Directly describes the product/service offered (e.g., SMITH FURNITURE).
- Generic – ineligible for registration (e.g., TEA LOUNGE)
For logos, you should hire a graphic designer or create a logo using software.
2. Conduct a Trademark Search
Go to the Trademark Electronic Search System or TESS and conduct a search for the trademark. A direct hit search is not enough, search for alternative misspellings (e.g., “GREY” vs. “GRAY”) or intentional misspellings. In addition, a trademark search should include the appropriate International Class of Goods and/or Services.
For instance, there are DELTA trademarks in Class 39 for “airline services” and Class 11 for “faucets.” In the above example, there is no conflict because the Class 39 and Class 11 do not overlap as “Coordinated Classes.” Coordinated Classes are classes which are similar. However, please remember that the test for conflicts is not an exact match; the test is whether the two marks are “similar” such that they would cause “likelihood of confusion.”
TESS is a great tool in the right hands. However, it is wise for those without enough experience in trademark searches to hire a qualified trademark attorney.
3. File a Trademark
The trademark application appears deceptively simple. However, within the application are legal standards such as “use in commerce,” “intent to use,” “specimens” and other jargon. A mistake in trademark filing may lead to a costly and time-consuming amendment. The USPTO will ask whether you are currently selling goods and/or services. If you are currently selling goods, and can prove it, select “use in commerce.” If you are not currently sellinggoods and/or services, select “intent to use.”
Non-U.S. Residents Must Hire a U.S. Attorney
While a U.S. licensed trademark attorney is not necessary for U.S. residents, the USPTO recommends hiring a private trademark attorney. This is due in large part to common misunderstandings about trademark law practice. Please note that trademark filing companies (i.e., LegalZoom, and the now defunct Trademark Terminal) are not private attorneys.
Benefits of Hiring a Trademark Attorney to File a Trademark
- You are less likely to receive a Office Action rejection
- The attorney has experience filing many trademark applications before
- Your costs are less long term due to fewer errors
- The attorney can advise you on trademark strategy
For non-U.S. residents or companies, the USPTO requires U.S. Counsel.
4. Observe Your Application’s Progress
Once trademark filing for your NFT is complete, the application will go through a rigorous process before an Examining Attorney at the USPTO. The Examining Attorney will
- Search the database for similar NFT trademarks
- See if there are any procedural or substantive issues with your mark
- Request an appropriate specimen if the applicant did not provide one
This process to get before an Examining Attorney takes around 6 to 8 months. It now takes 12 to 18 months at the USPTO until full registration. Throughout this process, the Examining Attorney may communicate with you via email. Examining Attorneys only communicate by phone or email, not by mail.
5. Registration and Post-Registration Monitoring
You may place the “®” symbol next to a trademark NFT only after receipt of a “Registration Certificate.” Your work, however, is not over. Trademark registration is pointless if it lacks monitoring. Monitoring is the process through which an individual or attorney searches for similar marks on the web or at the USPTO. The monitoring process enhances your exclusive right to display and use your trademark. In addition, you will need to file a declaration during your 5th and 6th year anniversary, and a declaration plus renewal at the 9th and 10th year anniversary.
Conclusion – File a Trademark
In summary, if you want to trademark your brand name, logo, or slogan, you should contact Syed Law. I created an easy-to-use form to get your trademark started. I look forward to working with you.