When I file a new trademark application, as I do several hundred times per year, there are many things that go into it. Not only the substantive and procedural concerns (like potential conflicts, the descriptions of goods/services, name versus logo, etc), but the judgment, wisdom, experience and nuance.
For example, the following intangible things inform each application:
- Training as a USPTO examiner by USPTO officials.
- Meetings at the USPTO, attended several times a year, to learn the latest.
- Conferences and lectures attended, generally several per year.
- Participation in trademark organizations and committees, and the insights they have provided.
- The Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure.
- Prior case law on relevant issues.
- Readings on trademark issues and developments, including dozens or hundreds of articles, and blog posts each year.
- Writing on trademark issues and development which focuses and enhances my understanding.
- Speaking on trademark issues and development which concentrates and builds my understanding.
- Teaching law students and mentees, who ask me challenging questions that I learn from as well.
- Each the thousands of applications I have filed that proceeded the one I am working on: those that worked and those that didn’t, and all the lessons they provided.
In some ways, there is an art to the application, along with a science.
I tell you all this to reiterate my confidence that computers, artificial intelligence, online filing websites, and general practice firms can never provide the same value that an experienced trademark attorney can. A computer can read every trademark case and rule and application history, but can it apply all the appropriate lessons learned from them to the trademark at hand? I wouldn’t bet on it.