More and more, people prefer to DIY. Whether it’s wedding decorations or legal work, DIY is undeniably popular. Which is great! I’m totally in favor of DIY’ing. After all, hiring an attorney can be expensive. Do you know what’s even more expensive though? Hiring an attorney to fix a DIY trademark.
You see, even though trademarks may seem straightforward, they are anything but that. There are so many different things to consider when applying for a trademark. Is your name distinctive? Is your logo too generic? Most importantly, is your trademark even available?
While it is easy enough to conduct a google search, that is not a good way to make sure your business name is available. Additionally, while the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) does have a search system on their website (it’s called TESS), it is renowned for being incredibly literal and difficult to use. Unless you know what you are doing with Boolean search terms, etc, you could be missing many important results.
Attorneys, on the other hand, have access to special trademark search software. This allows us to do a comprehensive search, which includes websites, business names that are federally and state registered, social media, and much more. We basically read an 80-90 page report just so we can tell you whether a name or logo is available.
Why does that matter? If you try to register a name or logo that is already in use your application will be rejected. You’ll have paid $275 for nothing. And if you’re already using that name, you’ll likely have to rebrand.
That’s the main thing we’re trying to avoid- rebranding. You see, if you don’t use an attorney and you depend on a Google search, you could also end up infringing on someone else’s name or logo. If they have federally registered that name or logo, they’ll send you a cease and desist letter- and you guessed it- you’ll have to rebrand.
So while I fully support people learning how to do legal things themselves and access to the legal system for all- sometimes it’s just better to use an attorney. In the long run, you’ll actually be saving yourself money. Perhaps save the DIY for your wedding. 😉
If you’re interested in having a comprehensive trademark search done or applying for a trademark, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (971) 350-8516 to schedule a free consultation with Nicole.