Your business trademark is your identity; it’s a name, symbol, or sign people associate your goods or services with. However, sometimes owning a trademark isn’t always a smooth ride. You may need to register it to own exclusive rights or discover that an individual is profiting off your trademark without your permission.

Trademarking involves a number of things, so you may need to hire a trademark lawyer in some cases. Generally, a trademark lawyer should help you with trademark-related issues. Some business owners try to handle some trademark issues, like registration, on their own and end up creating a mess.

Therefore, hiring a trademark lawyer will come in handy. However, you must keep some things in mind before hiring a trademark lawyer. Read on to find out.

What to know before hiring a trademark attorney

Your trademark is your intellectual property, and you ought to guard it to enjoy its benefits. Beyond registration, many things are involved in trademarks, and having a trademark lawyer can help you navigate your situation.

However, before hiring or entering a legal agreement with a trademark attorney, you should be aware of a few things. Such things include the following:

  1. The expertise you need

Intellectual properties, in general, are different. Patents, trademarks, and copyrights are different and are distinct specialties that you may need to learn about. Just because you know someone is an intellectual property lawyer doesn’t translate to them being a trademark lawyer.

Therefore, find out whether you need a trademark or patent lawyer, and meeting with them can help you identify that. Furthermore, if you know the expertise you need, you also need to figure out whether the lawyer you choose focuses on trademarks. 

Also, find out whether the attorney understands how your industry works and relevant technologies.

  1. Determine whether it’s a one-time or a meaningful relationship 

You must identify what your goal for hiring a trademark lawyer is. Many want their businesses to grow but aren’t willing to put in much effort. This will help you choose a lawyer that matches your goal, not someone with cheap services and little expertise.

You may consider registering your trademark nationally or internationally; however, international trademark registrations are complex. This should help you identify the lawyer with the expertise and resources that can get you international registration. 

Some expert trademark lawyers may have foreign associates in different countries that they can hire for the job. Furthermore, your goal could be to get a consultant. Therefore, you should identify yours and match it with a suitable trademark lawyer.

  1. How the trademark registration process works

Another thing to know before meeting or hiring a trademark lawyer is how the registration process works. Generally, trademark processes start with research for similar marks to ensure easy registration without delay or hindrance for your mark.

If you meet all requirements, the USPTO will approve your application, and you own the exclusive right to use the trademark in the country. Familiarizing yourself with the trademark process will make your meeting with the lawyer meaningful. 

On the other hand, you can ask for this information when you consult a trademark lawyer before hiring. This will help you understand what to expect.

  1. How long trademark registration takes

Another thing to know before hiring a trademark attorney is how long the registration takes. Ask the lawyer you intend to work with how long trademark research, preparation, and filing takes to complete. The lawyer can let you know the estimate of how long it may take the USPTO to approve your application.

This may help you determine whether to proceed with the lawyer or go through the process alone, especially after discussing the rates. However, note that working with a trademark lawyer makes the process easier and prevents you from making mistakes.

  1. Understand your rights

You should know your rights before hiring a trademark attorney. Protecting your trademark doesn’t end after registration, so you must monitor the market for intellectual property infringement and watch your competition. If you find out that someone is infringing on your trademark, you must know your rights before taking any steps.

Can you sue for infringement, and how does the law protect you from such situations? Most times, you have to consult a trademark attorney to get answers to that, and they can advise you on your rights, help you send a cease and desist, or take legal action. This will help you determine whether or not to hire an attorney and how they can help you.

  1. Trademark cost

Inquire about trademark filing costs before hiring a trademark attorney. USPTO Trademark filings fees differ based on application type and the type of goods or services. 

Furthermore, a trademark lawyer will charge you a fee for their expertise. You should factor these in before hiring a trademark attorney to determine whether that fits into your budget or whether to consider a cheaper attorney or file solo.

  1. Used databases

Confirm the database the trademark attorney uses before hiring them. Some attorneys use free resources for trademark searches; however, these sources lack functionality and aren’t as dependable as others. 

On the other hand, some attorneys expand their search scope to ensure they deliver the best for their clients, sometimes for a fee.

  1. The lawyer’s strategy

Before hiring a trademark attorney, ensure you know their strategy for your case. Engage them and discover how well-thought-out their strategy is. 

The lawyer should discuss why you need to obtain a trademark, discuss your options, and offer the best value within budget. You must be completely sure that you’re making the right choice with the attorney before hiring.

  1. The lawyer’s success rate

Before hiring a trademark attorney, compile a list of attorneys to visit. During your research, ensure you find out the success rate of the attorney you intend to work with. You can narrow your options to a recommended expert with a high success rate, more than the industry average.

Conclusion

Hiring a trademark attorney is more than what it seems if you want a high success rate. The best trademark attorney knows what you need and will devise the best strategy to help you achieve your goal. 

Ensure you work with an attorney with a positive reputation and relevant experience. Researching and understanding fully what’s involved in trademark processes will help you hire the right attorney for your trademark, who’s competent and trustworthy.