If you’ve followed my posts, or read any of my quotes in articles, it should be pretty clear by now that I am a very strong advocate of hiring actual trade mark attorneys to clear trademark applications before filing them. Trademark rights are complex and difficult to understand. What might or might not constitute trademark infringement is not something that many people can tell, especially when it comes to descriptive marks and knowing how different is different enough. That’s where the value of a trademark attorney comes in. A good trademark attorney can assist clients to identify potential risks before investing in a mark.
Trademark mills that offer cheap prices to file trademark applications deliver what their customers pay for. They exalt filing over advocacy, and reduce the trademarking process to a ministerial filing process. Some of these customers will obtain trademark registrations, but may face infringement disputes and litigation from third party rights holders. Others will see their filing fees wasted on applications that never should have been filed. Some will be blissfully lucky to have picked a trademark that was genuinely available, and should have no issues.
Adopting a trademark carries high stakes. The consequences for trademark infringement are severe and include disgorgement of profits and, if found to be willful, treble damages. The first step in choosing a trademark attorney is actually to select an attorney who specializes in trademark law, and has the experience and knowledge to advise you properly.