Low cost trademark services are located all over the internet. We’ll tell you what to look for and who to hire in order to protect you from infringement as well as increase your odds of acquiring a trademark registration.
There are numerous “we’re not a law firm” websites such as, LegalZoom, Legal-Sherpa, etc. These “self-help” services will often display a notice in the footer of the website that reads:
We are not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm.
This notice means that any and all information shared with these companies is not attorney-client privileged and that the company cannot inform you of specific trademark laws or legal consequences of filing your trademark. Whereas, an attorney can give you the specific legal advice you need to successfully file a trademark application and protect you from unwanted infringement.
Low Cost Trademark – The Most Important Difference
Self-help services can’t offer you legal advice. When using a trademark attorney the attorney will first conduct a comprehensive search. This search is imperative, as it ensures you are the sole owner of the trademark, prevents you from infringing on another business’s trademark, and determines the likelihood of a successful registration of your mark. An attorney will also advise you throughout this process on the appropriate steps in order to fully protect your mark. In addition to providing you search results of similar marks, an attorney can decipher the most important marks and advise you whether the marks will prevent the registration of your mark and whether you are infringing on a currently registered mark. This can save you six months of your life awaiting the rejection from the United States Patent and Trademark Office as well as prevent legal consequences.
For example, lets say you hire a self-help service to file your trademark: you provide them with your trademark information, they enter it into an application, and you submit it to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Now lets say that your trademark matches another mark that is registered in a similar field. What you have just done is give notice to this registered mark’s owner that you are using an infringing mark. You will most likely receive a Cease & Desist letter from this registration owner advising you to stop using your trademark or suffer legal consequences. If your use constitutes a willful counterfeit mark the trademark owner is statutorily entitled to up to $1,000,000 per counterfeit mark per each type of goods or services. In addition, your trademark will receive a Section 2(d) refusal for likelihood of confusion from the Trademark Office, resulting in the loss of your government filing fee of $275 or $325. All of this could have been avoided with advice from an attorney.
Don’t settle, Increase Your Odds of Obtaining a Trademark Registration
According to a study published in Stanford Technology Law Review, and as reported by the Wall Street Journal, trademark applicants are 50% more likely to receive a registration if they use a trademark attorney. Again, this is correlated to the sound advice a lawyer can give you on whether your mark is registrable.
Cheap Trademark Service – “Attorneys aren’t cheap”
You don’t have to seek a self-help service in order to file a trademark for a low cost. Some trademark attorneys offer low cost trademark services for flat fees. You get the best of both worlds, low cost trademark services AND professional, privileged legal advice regarding your trademark. Thus, instead of seeking a “cheap trademark”, you should seek a low cost flat fee trademark attorney. If you need more information see our webpage regarding whether you should hire a trademark attorney.