Extremely cheap trademark registration services have inherent flaws. When looking for an affordable trademark registration service there are a few qualities you’ll want to make sure your service provider is offering you.
Cheap Trademark Services – Watch Out!
You Need an Affordable Trademark Attorney, Not a “Trademark Agent”
When selecting a business to handle your trademark filing you’ll want to ensure the representative filing the trademark is a licensed trademark attorney. While other services can conduct trademark searches or offer you advice regarding the marketability of a name, only attorneys have the ability to assist individuals in filing a trademark application. “Practice before the Office in trademark matters includes, but is not limited to, consulting with or giving advice to a client in contemplation of filing a trademark application or other document with the Office.” Applications filed by non-attorneys on behalf of individuals will be deemed void.
- Applications filed on behalf of individuals by non-attorneys will be deemed void. Make sure you have a lawyer if the provider is drafting or filing your trademark – even if you sign the application.
Don’t File Blindly
Next, make sure a search is completed by the service. A search will prevent problems down the road. Trademark clearances will show you if the name you want is available, whether you will want to file or not, and it will identify state or common law trademark issues. Searching the federal database alone is a bad idea. It’s a good start, but is by no means a complete search. Someone who owns state trademark rights or common law rights can still sue you based on those rights.
- Get a comprehensive search advising you whether or not you will be successful.
Don’t Miss Deadlines
Make sure the service you are using will advise you regarding important deadlines. If deadlines are missed your mark will abandon.
- Make sure you get notifications during the trademark process.
An Office Action Looms
A large portion of all trademark applications receive an initial Office action. An Office action will indicate specific issues with the application. Again, a trademark service provider without an attorney will not be able to respond on your behalf. Your service representative should help you by responding to Office actions. Many trademark services include responses to Office actions for “non-substantive” issues. Non-substantive responses are typically those that can be evaluated and communicated to an Examiner without citation of case law. Non-substantive responses can be complicated in their legal significance, however, an attorney will evaluate the response on your behalf. Those that cannot legally respond on your behalf….won’t. Consequently, your application may be abandoned for not responding to the Examiner’s Office action.
- You will most likely need to respond to an Office action. An attorney can do this for you. A non-attorney cannot.
Rely on a Trademark Attorney
To avoid a lot of the problems, as identified above, your best option is to rely on a licensed trademark attorney. Trademark attorneys can act on your behalf in a in a trademark application. Having an attorney on your side will increase your odds of getting your trademark approved.