When a company uses a name, a logo, a graphic meant to represent the business or any other branding resource, they are placing a “mark” into broader commerce. If a mark is not formally registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, it will remain vulnerable to infringement. Additionally, other companies may accuse a business that uses an unregistered mark of infringing upon its intellectual property rights.
As a result of this vulnerability, it is important to formally register trademarks. This effort is usually most effective if it is made at the state and federal levels. However, it is important to avoid putting together a cursory trademark application and sending it off without proper legal review. This is one task that you don’t want to “DIY.”
While a do-it-yourself work ethic should generally be applauded, it is not a good idea to take this approach to certain tasks that are generally reserved for professionals. The stakes are simply too high to risk mistakes, including with trademark registration. Mistakes in this area could put you at risk of litigation that could prove so costly that it could result in the end of your company’s operations.
DIY approaches lead to accidental infringement, other problems
When you’re inexperienced with trademarks, your business will be far more likely to unintentionally engage in trademark infringement. Additionally, you won’t lose valuable time trying to understand the complexities of proving that you’re using your trademark in commerce — which is a necessary part of the application. You also won’t waste energy, effort, time and money with an application that will be summarily rejected because of mistakes.
By obtaining professional guidance in intellectual property and business law, you can conduct comprehensive trademark searches at the state and federal levels quickly — and take many of the pressures of a trademark application off your plate.