Archives For November 2014

When you need a trademark attorney there are plenty of places to look. And whether you find your attorney through the Yellow Pages or word of mouth, there are things you can do to ensure you find a quality person or firm to represent you.


To find the right trademark attorney to represent you, a referral is one of the most reliable ways to locate the professional who will represent you and help you achieve a happy result from your trademark application. A referral from a friend or coworker is one of the most reliable ways to find an attorney. It is also possible to call a business owner and find out who they used for their trademark services.

Search Online

You should also search the Internet for potential attorneys and other online trademark tools. For instance, new startups have sprung up in recent years (like us, for example) that provide trademark application services through the Internet.

And, obviously, you can learn a lot about an attorney through his or her website. Be sure that the attorney you hire really does practice trademark law and doesn’t just list it as one of many practices in which they work. If they list it as a practice, but don’t discuss trademarks elsewhere on their site, then they might be a bad choice.

Bar Associations

Another way to get a reliable referral is to call a lawyer referral service which is usually associated with the local State Bar Association. This kind of service can help link potential clients with the attorneys who practice a particular kind of law.

Additional Tips

Before hiring an attorney, it is best to find out all you can about them, and if possible, to meet them in person. When you meet or speak with the lawyer, also find out if they plan to handle your case personally, or if they plan to farm it out to a subordinate. Lastly, be sure to discuss the fees the application will entail, if they will have an hourly fee, a fixed fee, or some other method for handling the case, and find out if there will be other fees associated, such as filing fees and similar expenses.

If you are seeking help with your trademark application, you should check out our innovative and flat fee services at!

Image: Thinkstock/wowomnom
*This article is very general in nature and does not constitute legal advice. Readers with legal questions should consult with an attorney prior to making any legal decisions.

We refer to the USPTO a lot on this blog. Technically it is known as the United Stated Patent and Trademark Office but it is often shortened to the Trademark Office or just USPTO. In this week’s post we want to provide more information on the office, what it does (and doesn’t do), and how it plays an important part for your business.

What is the USPTO and What Does it Do?

The USPTO is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of Commerce with more than 10,000 employees. Unlike most federal agencies, the USPTO is self-funded, paying for its expenses through the fees it collects on applications. Although the agency serves many functions including advising the President and other departments on intellectual property matters, its two primary functions are the registration of patents and trademarks.

What it Doesn’t Do

The USPTO will not give you legal advice on the ability to trademark your business name or logo and it also does not have any involvement with obtaining copyright protection for your creative works (the Copyright Office is tasked with managing our country’s copyright database and it is a part of the Library of Congress).

How It Affects Businesses

If you are an inventor or have some other patentable technology or business methods then the office may grant you the exclusive right to make use of and license those items for a limited time (normally 20 years). But as this is a trademark blog, we will focus on the trademark division of the USPTO.

The USPTO maintains a searchable database that contains trademark applications and registered marks (including denied applications and expired registrations). This database can be immensely valuable to your business because it can shed light on other businesses that might be using a name prior to your use. It can also offer information on what marks have been denied protection (for example, because they were descriptive) which can help you in picking the right, protectable, name for your business.

The USPTO also provides registration certificates for approved applications. If your application is approved and makes its way through the opposition process, you will obtain a certificate of registration that you can use to prevent trademark infringement. Although it doesn’t always work, providing proof of your registration with the USPTO will often help you reach a settlement with infringers prior to filing a lawsuit.

The USPTO also handles certain disputes such as opposition proceedings to oppose the registration of a mark. Once an application is approved, it is published for opposition for any individual or company to oppose registration. If you object to the registration, a trial-like proceeding is started during which you can submit your arguments.

Working With the USPTO

With respect to trademarks, anyone (including non-lawyers) can work directly with the USPTO to apply for a trademark and file various renewal documents. However, trademark law itself is often confusing, even to many lawyers!

For that reason, it is often a best practice to use the services of a trademark lawyer to assist you with your application. If you want to learn more about how we help clients obtain trademark registrations, read more about Mighty Marks® here.

*This article is very general in nature and does not constitute legal advice. Readers with legal questions should consult with an attorney prior to making any legal decisions.