It’s not unusual for people to ask me whether they can prepare and file a US trademark application themselves rather than work with an experienced trademark attorney. Most of these individuals are in the beginning stages of launching a new business and are understandably concerned about staying within their budgets and making sure they have money for all of the other important things they need. When I started my trademark law practice many years ago, I had exactly the same concerns.
Can I File a US Trademark Application Without an Attorney?
The fact of the matter is that you can file a US trademark application yourself unless you’re a “foreign-domiciled” individual or entity, in which case you must hire a U.S.-licensed attorney to file on your behalf. You’re not legally required to hire a trademark lawyer to prepare and submit your trademark application. The United States Patent and Trademark Office even provides some instructional videos and a lot of other helpful information on its website to assist people who have weighed the pros and cons of working with a trademark attorney and have decided that they want to proceed with a US trademark application on their own.
But if you’re like most people who visit my website, you might not have enough information to make an informed decision as to whether securing legal representation is right for you. So, let me explain why seeking the guidance of a skilled and knowledgeable trademark attorney is something you should consider.
What if I Make a Mistake?
First, the USPTO trademark application form is not as straightforward and simple as it might initially seem. It’s very easy to make inadvertent errors and not even know about them until you receive a trademark office action from the Trademark Office. Although some mistakes are able to be corrected after your application is filed, many are not. If your trademark application contains an error that cannot be fixed, you’ll have wasted the filing fee that you paid to the Trademark Office. Your only choice will be to file a brand new application and pay another government filing fee. More importantly, you will lose your federal priority filing date, which can be disastrous if someone else happens to file an application for a confusingly similar trademark before you can submit a new application.
Avoiding Rejections and Delays
Second, a US trademark application filed by an experienced trademark lawyer is much more likely to be approved by the Trademark Office because it will be complete and accurate. Trademark attorneys know exactly which questions to ask you to obtain all the information they need to ensure that your trademark application is properly prepared and timely filed. Avoiding unnecessary rejections and delays is the key to keeping trademark registration costs as low as possible.
What About Important Deadlines?
Finally, there are important deadlines that will need to be met after your US trademark application is submitted. If you file your trademark application yourself, you may not even be aware of such deadlines. On the other hand, a trademark attorney will regularly monitor your application and will remind you of those deadlines so that your trademark application doesn’t accidentally go abandoned.
Contact Me for Help with Your US Trademark Application
If you have questions about how working with a US trademark attorney could benefit you, please don’t hesitate to give me a call at (314) 749-4059, send me a message through my contact form, or send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). I look forward to hearing from you soon.