Many entrepreneurs are confused about the trademark process, specifically how to register a trademark. They either think it is way too complicated for them and their business, or they believe it is as simple as just submitting a trademark application.
Neither of these answers is correct. Trademark registration plays a vital role in safeguarding the identity and exclusivity of your brand. Failing to register your trademarks can have severe and detrimental consequences for your businesses.
But the good news is that registering your trademarks is a relatively inexpensive process that, if you run your business properly, will pay for itself many times over in the coming years.
In this post, we will dive into four different methods that you should consider to register your trademarks, and examine the pros and cons of each so that you can make the best decision for your business.
Method 1: Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Approach
The DIY approach is exactly what it sounds like. You do some research on your own about what it takes to register your trademark, then head over to the USPTO website to file your own trademark application.
While this option is popular, it often leads to mistakes, inadequate search efforts, and a lack of understanding of the application process and what is required to provide you with the broadest trademark protection.
You should also be aware that DIY filings have a lower success rate compared to hiring a lawyer for assistance with your application.
Method 2: Utilizing a Trademark Filing Service
Trademark filing services offer assistance in completing trademark applications for a fee, typically ranging from $50 to $200. These services may claim to provide lawyer review; however, it is often minimal and not as comprehensive as hiring a dedicated attorney for assistance with your application.
Moreover, some filing services only conduct basic knock-out searches, failing to perform the comprehensive trademark searches necessary to ensure the chosen trademark's availability.
I typically recommend that entrepreneurs stay away from these services and instead either file the application on their own or hire a lawyer for assistance.
Method 3: Enrolling in a Trademark Course
If you are thinking about filing a trademark application on your own, then purchasing a trademark course could be a smart idea, especially for those entrepreneurs who seek a deeper understanding of the process.
These courses guide entrepreneurs through the entire process, teaching them about proper searches, application drafting, and more. However, it is crucial to ensure that the course includes instructions on conducting comprehensive trademark searches or provides references to reliable vendors who can assist in this regard.
We have created the LOCK it Down® (legal) Toolkit which includes a module on how to properly protect your trademarks.
In addition, we also offer a monthly mastermind program. If you are interested in learning more about the OB Foundations Mastermind, (which also includes access to our LOCK it Down® (legal) Toolkit), click here.
Method 4: Hiring a Trademark Lawyer
Hiring a trademark lawyer is often the most effective and efficient approach for ensuring a smooth trademark registration process.
However, it is essential to choose the right lawyer based on various factors such as experience, pricing structure, and dedication to trademark work. Lower-cost law firms may rely on paralegals or overseas assistance, while higher-priced firms offer more personalized attention from experienced attorneys.
We recommend that you conduct your own research and read client reviews to find the right fit for your specific needs.
If you would like to schedule a call to speak with trademark lawyer Jim Hart about what you are trying to protect, click here.
To learn more about our trademark packages, click here.
The Bottom Line for Registering Your Trademarks
Registering a trademark is a critical step for any business or individual entrepreneur seeking to protect their brand identity.
While the DIY approach, trademark filing services, and trademark courses can be viable options, they often come with limitations in terms of success rates, legal guidance, or comprehensive search capabilities.
Hiring a trademark lawyer offers the highest likelihood of success, ensuring expert assistance and comprehensive legal protection throughout the trademark registration process.
Remember, investing in professional services provides not only peace of mind but also helps safeguard your intellectual property rights. Choose the method that aligns best with your needs and resources to ensure a successful and legally protected trademark registration.