If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you tend to be a “do-it-yourself-er.” We get that. You’re smart, capable and in most cases, trying to get a business started on a shoestring budget.
The thing that sets apart the truly successful entrepreneur from the others is the ability to know where to spend money that will bring you the most value. Unfortunately, when it comes to applying for trademark protection we’ve seen too many people try to work without the advice of an attorney and it ends up costing them much more money and sometimes, their trademark or brand.
There are a number of issues that a trademark application can encounter when undergoing review at the United States Trademark Office. A skilled trademark attorney knows and understands these intricacies.
The real value of a trademark attorney is not only getting your trademark application filed correctly, accurately and in the best position for approval, but it’s also in the way they craft your trademark application to best align with your business and its goals. Here’s how they do it:
Being as Broad as Possible without Reaching Outside Your Rights
You’ll hear this come up a few times – be as broad as possible in every aspect of your application. Why? Simply put, a broad trademark application will allow you to protect more.
An expert trademark attorney will finesse your application to be broad as possible, yet narrow enough to protect your business and growth and not step outside your rights. Through years of working with trademarks, an experienced attorney knows whether you have a strong, arbitrary mark or a weak descriptive mark and how to maximize your interests with each. They will know how close the most similar registrations are and what you can claim to get the best protection possible. This finesse can even apply to the specific words of your company name that you thought would be an “easy trademark” to do on your own.
Your Class Identification
One of the most important parts of your trademark application is the description of your goods and services.
A great trademark attorney will walk you through this process. They will take the time to understand your business and your growth path, and they will recommend a description based off the USPTO’s encyclopedia of class ID’s for all of the goods and services out there.
You need to be strategic about choosing the goods or services to which your mark will apply. This is the case whether you’re seeking an Intent to Use Application or you’re describing the goods or services you’re already using with your trademark in an Actual Use Trademark Application.
While it may be tempting in the beginning to choose all of the possible classes that you think you might use, this could come back to bite you later when someone either opposes your application or seeks to have it canceled due to fraud – not to mention the $275 you must pay for each separate class.
Any trademark attorney worth his or her salt will take the time to truly understand your business in order to create the broadest possible description of goods and services for your application, while minimizing how your claims could possibly conflict with another party’s rights.