When it comes to almost any business, owners think their most valuable asset is their product or service. While these are key parts of any business, another important and valuable asset a business owns is its trademark. Whether it is a business name, logo, or image that is on all products, a trademark can be a valuable legal tool to help protect your business in many ways. While it is possible to register a trademark on your own using online legal services, most business experts recommend working with an attorney specializing in this area of law. If you need to learn more, here are five benefits of working with a lawyer who specializes in trademarks.
Knowing What Can be Trademarked
When you work with a trademark attorney, one of the first things they can help you with is advising you exactly what aspects of your business can be trademarked. For example, while most people figure their business name and logo can be trademarked, they often fail to realize many other things can be trademarked as well. These can include such things as a product design, or even a sound associated with your business. Whatever the case may be, a trademark attorney can not only identify what should be trademarked, but also which trademarks may be more valuable than others.
How to Choose a Trademark
When many people start a business, they know little if anything about how to choose a trademark. Again, a trademark attorney can help with this matter. To get the best results, an attorney can explain trademark rules, conduct a search for similar trademarks, and evaluate how strong your trademark will be in regards to being enforced if others try to imitate it in the future.
Trademark Classes and Descriptions
While most people have heard of trademarks, they often are not aware that there are many different classes and descriptions pertaining to trademarks. However, since the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has numerous types of classes, picking the right one is important. If the wrong choice is made, it may be easier for others to infringe upon your trademark. Therefore, working with a trademark attorney can help a business owner choose the correct class, or in many cases classes, since many trademarks are often registered in multiple classes. Since this is a very complex aspect of trademark law, always consult an attorney.
Understanding Trademark Costs
Since a filing fee is charged by the USPTO for each class in which a trademark is registered, your costs may add up quickly. However, since it is important to be registered in all pertinent classes, this is money well spent. Along with this, your attorney will be able to explain how filing fees will work if you want to register your trademark overseas. And of course, you will be paying your attorney for their services as well. But in light of the possible things that could go wrong by failing to properly register your trademark, any fees should be looked at as an investment in the success of your business.
Protecting Your Trademark
Once you have gone through the process of registering a trademark in all possible classes, it is then up to you as the business owner to make sure you protect your trademark. Unfortunately, many people mistakenly believe the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is responsible for enforcing trademarks, which it is not. As a result, many businesses over the years have lost trademark protection due to not controlling their use. Because of this, it is always best to retain the services of an experienced and knowledgeable trademark attorney, since they can offer proper guidance and support in how to protect and enforce your trademark.
While patent and trademark law is considered one of the most complex and confusing areas of law, it can also be one of the most effective when used in a proper manner. Due to the important role a name, logo, or design may play in the success of your business, always rely on a trademark attorney to guide you through the process.