Business Law Blog

Dangers Of DIY Trademark Applications

Posted by Amanda Butler Schley | Apr 29, 2024 | 0 Comments

Embarking on a DIY trademark journey can be both exciting and daunting for business owners. From conducting comprehensive research to creating detailed drawings, the process requires meticulous attention to detail to ensure a successful application. A trademark owner must complete each step thoroughly to protect the brand and the owner's intellectual property rights. Trademark registration is just the beginning of the trademark journey. Without actively using the trademark, it may become vulnerable to cancellation due to nonuse. Understanding the importance of utilizing your trademark post-registration is key to maximizing its value and protection. To discover essential tips and insights and discuss how to navigate the DIY trademark process effectively, consider contacting a Louisiana business attorney from Business Law Group at (504) 446-6506.

What Is a Trademark?

A trademark can be any word, phrase, symbol, design, or combination of these elements that distinguishes one company's goods or services from others in the marketplace. The mark serves as a unique identifier of the source of the products or services, creating brand recognition and loyalty among customers.

The distinctions of the different types of trademarks impact the scope of protection and the trademark application requirements, which are provided by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). They also influence the level of safeguarding provided by the trademark registration process. Two main types of trademarks are:

  • Standard character trademark: Typically consists of words, letters, or numbers without specific font style, size, or color

  • Special form trademark: Involves unique stylization, design elements, color schemes, or a combination of visual features that set the mark apart from others

The Do-It-Yourself Approach

Business owners have so many decisions to make and fees to pay regarding all aspects of their company. After they spend the time and money developing a trademark to distinguish their company's goods or services from those of other companies, they may be enticed by the prospect of saving money and, perhaps, a few steps. According to the USPTO, residents of the United States are not required to hire an attorney to help them through the trademark application process. However, the USPTO does encourage hiring an attorney, and non-residents are required to be represented by an attorney who practices in the United States.

Applying for a Trademark on Your Own

When opting for a DIY approach in trademark registration, the trademark owner will handle the process independently without the assistance of a trademark attorney or professional service. This entails completing all necessary steps and paperwork without any external guidance. Although the USPTO provides information to help filers better understand the process, the steps can be time-consuming for those who are not well-versed in trademark law.

The process includes the following important steps:

  • Conducting initial research: Conduct a comprehensive search to ensure that the chosen trademark is unique and not already in use with another company

  • Filing the trademark application: Gather and submit all required documentation and information to the appropriate trademark office

  • Providing follow-up information: Address any inquiries or issues raised by the trademark office during the application review process

Are DIY Trademark Services Worth It?

Not all pros and cons weigh the same for every situation, so it is important to consider these carefully before deciding on how to proceed. Some of the pros of DIY trademark services include enjoying potential cost savings, having full control over the process, and being directly involved in every step. The cons include having a greater risk of errors, lacking professional guidance, and potentially dealing with delays or complications due to inexperience.

Before You DIY Your Trademark

Before embarking on a DIY trademark registration journey, business owners should carefully consider their level of understanding of the trademark process, the resources they have available, and their willingness to commit the time and effort required for each step. Taking a thorough and informed approach is crucial to ensuring a successful trademark registration outcome.

Trademark Costs

The costs of a trademark application include the official fees for application processing, registration, and any additional services required. In addition to the financial costs is the time investment if the business owner chooses to handle the process without professional assistance. Factor in the time spent on research, paperwork, and communication related to the trademark application process.

Hidden Costs of the DIY Trademark

DIY trademark applications may initially seem cost-effective, but they can lead to unexpected expenses. Problems during the registration process, such as objections or opposition, can escalate costs significantly. Addressing these issues without professional help can result in costs up to $3500 for a single application.

Cost of a Trademark Lawyer

When considering trademark registration, the expense may seem high initially, but it provides valuable benefits. Trademark attorneys offer feedback, comprehensive searches, and expert advice regarding the trademark. The expertise and guidance of an experienced trademark lawyer can help save time, reduce errors, and improve the chances of a successful trademark registration. If you are struggling to decide how to proceed with your trademark application, a knowledgeable business lawyer from Business Law Group may be able to help.

Why Hiring a Trademark Lawyer Is a Worthy Investment

Opting to hire a trademark lawyer is a strategic move for business owners looking to safeguard their intellectual property. A lawyer's specialized knowledge and experience in trademark law can help to streamline the process, reduce legal risks, and effectively protect the brand. By entrusting professionals with the trademark registration, business owners can focus on growth and innovation while ensuring that their assets are adequately protected.

Contact a Business Attorney To Answer Your Trademark Questions Today

In the realm of trademarks, utilizing professional guidance can be the key to safeguarding a company's brand. While a DIY trademark application may seem cost-effective at first glance, the potential pitfalls and hidden expenses could outweigh any initial savings. By consulting a seasoned trademark lawyer, businesses can navigate the intricate process with confidence and ensure comprehensive protection for their intellectual property. With expert assistance, companies can mitigate risks, conduct thorough searches, and effectively address any objections or opposition that may arise during the registration process. Investing in the expertise of a trademark attorney is not just a financial decision but a strategic move toward securing long-term success and brand integrity. If you have questions or are ready to get started with your trademark registration, consider contacting an experienced Louisiana business attorney from Business Law Group today by calling (504) 446-6506 to schedule a consultation.

About the Author

Amanda Butler Schley

Ranked as a Top Rated Business and Commercial Attorney, I have more than a decade of experience representing boutique hotels, family-owned businesses, privately owned restaurants, breweries, artists, executives and entrepreneurs.


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Business Law Group is a boutique business services law firm in New Orleans, Louisiana. Our focus is on understanding the legal pitfalls of your business and industry, as well as the secrets to maximizing your legal leverage at every opportunity and in every negotiation. We work selectively with clients that aren't ready for the overhead expense of an in-house general counsel, but understand the advantages of having a trusted legal advisor on their team. Amanda Butler has been ranked as a Louisiana SuperLawyer, New Orleans Top Lawyer, Best Lawyers, and in Leaders of Law.