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Another question I get very often is: So Ted, Iâve made the decision to get my trade name or logo, or slogan, etc., trademarked, do I really need an attorney to complete the application or can I deal directly with the trademark office?
The answer, as with any such question is always, it depends. You are not required to have a trademark attorney, however, this is a question which in reality asks, what degree of risk am I comfortable with. A medical doctor is not required to perform surgery on you, however, I would not recommend having surgery without one. Similarly, I would not recommend attempting to register a trademark without an experienced trademark attorney.
The process of obtaining a trademark (or copyright) is not simply the filing out some paperwork (however, this is certainly part of the trademark application process). The trademark application process begins with an extensive search to uncover if your proposed name, logo, slogan is currently registered or unregistered but in use in your same industry.
Also there is the consideration that if during that name or logo search you uncover a similar mark. Now what? Do you have to change your mark? Can you still have your proposed trademark registered? The answer is (always): it depends. It depends on many factors.
Therefore, it is the trademark search and the ability to navigate the minefield of the application process where the skill of an experienced trademark attorney becomes the most valuable. It is his or her professional experience, which is your greatest asset during this process.
Certainly, as with anything if the cost of the service outweighs the benefits you need to determine if it is a good business decision. However, I have never, in all the years I have been practicing trademark and copyright law, had a client unhappy that they approached the protection of their most valuable business asset in a professional manner and in doing so assisted their business in reaching its full potential. I have said it many times before, brand protection pays for itself, whether by peace of mind, or by preventing your competition from trading on your goodwill or by giving you the ability to truly develop your brand identity.