Registered trademarks can be a necessary legal protection for your business because they can help protect your rights as a business owner from getting infringed by a competitor in the market. Registering a trademark might seem simple, but doing it without the help of a trademark lawyer can increase the risks. Here are three situations that require a trademark lawyer.
Trademark Clearance Search
A trademark lawyer brings several advantages to the table regarding registering and choosing trademarks. For example, they can conduct a thorough trademark clearance search.
When deciding on a symbol, logo, or name for your business, you do not want to use an already registered trademark because doing so can get your application denied by the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office).
Even if your trademark gets approved, the similarity with another trademark could cause confusion in the market. As a result, you may have to go through the process again to choose a different trademark. In addition, you could also be sued for infringement by a competing business even if the USPTO clears your trademark.
Doing the trademark clearance search yourself could cost you more than you think in the long run. However, if you hire a trademark attorney, they can conduct a comprehensive search, identify any potentially conflicting trademarks in the market, and help you make an informed decision. In addition, the lawyer can research unregistered trademarks to protect your business from infringement or other legal issues.
Suppose you decide on a trademark that is closely related or identical to another trademark in the market. In that case, your attorney can also help you pursue further trademark clearance steps, such as obtaining the consent of the conflicting trademark’s owner. They can also evaluate your business trademark’s strength and advise how to proceed.
Preparing Trademark Application
One main reason to hire an attorney for a trademark registration is that applications filed by or under the supervision of experienced trademark attorneys have a higher chance of getting accepted by the USPTO. Trademark applications can get rejected for several mistakes, including the following:
- The trademark can be confused with an already registered or pending trademark.
- The trademark consists of obscene or scandalous elements.
- The trademark can offend religious groups.
- The trademark is deceptively misdescriptive.
An attorney with a thorough knowledge of trademark laws can identify potential problems that could get your trademark application rejected and help you avoid them.
There are also various other aspects of the application a trademark attorney can help you with. For example, if the USPTO officer has concerns regarding your trademark application, they can file an Office Action. If you fail to respond to the Office Action, your trademark application can be marked abandoned, and any other business can register your abandoned trademark.
Once your trademark has been registered, it can still become the target of infringement, which can put your reputation at stake, and you could also lose the right to your business. For example, a competitor could use your trademark to sell similar goods and services of inferior quality, putting your reputation at risk.
The trademark owner needs to monitor it after registration. However, many business owners only invest their time and money in their business growth after registering the trademark, leaving them vulnerable to trademark infringement and other issues.
To avoid such situations, you can get an experienced attorney to monitor your trademark and inform you about possible infringing actions in the market so you can take legal action against them. Your attorney can review the USPTO filings regularly and notify you of any violations that you must address.