Going into business for yourself is a pretty big challenge. Many people aren’t prepared for all of the work and challenges that come along with business ownership. One of the most over- looked things that falls through the cracks is brand protection. With the amount of online businesses and the amount of brick and mortar stores trying to get online, the risk of trademark infringement is increasing. However, not every business needs a federal trademark registration or the assistance of a trademark attorney.
Should I Trademark My Business?
Businesses that have a small local presence, with no hope or plans of expanding, probably don’t need a federal trademark registration. The corner mom and pop sandwich shop is one of those businesses. If they want to expand in the surrounding area, they may want a state trademark registration. This can usually be acquired by a local attorney through the states department of commerce.
If a business plans on expanding on a large scale, or doing interstate commerce, then it will probably want to explore the option of a federal trademark registration. Businesses that plan on having an internet presence should always have a trademark registration. Many people file their trademarks themselves, others choose to use an attorney.
If a business plans on participating in global commerce, an international trademark registration is possible. These types of trademarks are a little more complex to acquire and can only be acquired after you get a federal trademark registration. A trademark attorney should probably be hired for this type of trademark registration.
Should I Hire a Trademark Attorney?
Not everyone hires a trademark attorney. Many people file their own trademark applications. There are a lot of online- help guides to walk you through the process, as well as local resource centers.
Hiring a trademark attorney gives you an advantage if there are any objections and during the trademark search. If the examiner at the USPTO rejects the initial application, a trademark attorney may be able to overcome the objection because of their knowledge of law.
Free Trademark Program
Attorney Perry Clegg, a trademark specialist, does offer a limited, free- trademark program. To apply for the program, file an application here. Successful applicants are responsible for the filing fees, but the attorney fees are free.