The following is a transcript of an episode of the Tricks of the Trade(mark) podcast, listen to the episode here.
I recently noticed a creative new business at our local farmer’s market that sells condiments and hot sauces. I asked a mutual acquaintance whether the business owner had protected their trademark. They told me that they themselves had asked the business owner because they have such a creative name, and mentioned that they knew me and that I handle their trademarks. The business owner noted that they were doing it themself. My response, of course, was, “Does he pull his own wisdom teeth as well?” Just because you could do it yourself doesn’t mean that you should do it yourself.
I’m asked all the time, do I really need a trademark lawyer to handle my trademark registration or trademark application? While you technically don’t need to have a lawyer, it’s a very, very good idea, just like using a dentist to treat your teeth or an accountant to help with your taxes. The trademark application process is complex. It is lengthy. The words that go into your application and the arguments that are made can affect your rights long term. Also, the government filing fees are nonrefundable. It is very much recommended that you use an experienced trademark attorney to help you, to help you navigate the trademark application process.
While many people continue to do it on their own, more than half of all applications are filed using a trademark attorney. We’ve been fortunate to work with thousands of businesses from around the world over the last nearly 20 years to protect their trademarks. Some of the work that I am most proud of is when other lawyers have hired me to handle their trademarks. Other lawyers have realized that trademarks are so specialized that it’s best to have an expert, and that work gives me great satisfaction. I have worked with at least a dozen lawyers as clients. Another client was actually an organization of intellectual property attorneys that used me to handle their trademark registrations. These lawyers and organizations recognized that the wisdom and guidance of an experienced trademark attorney makes sense to navigate the trademark application process. Other should follow their lead as well.