Applying to federally register your brand’s trademark can be a long, multi-step process, but rest assured, you can successfully do it on your own!
Though many business owners often hire an attorney to help them during the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) application process, there are reasons you might register your trademark without the counsel of a Trademark Attorney.
This guide below will inform you on why you might forego hiring an attorney.
At the same time, please consider our companion article, “Why You Need an Attorney to Register Your Federal Trademark.”
1. Registering Doesn’t Require Hiring an Trademark Attorney
In pretty much all law cases and proceedings, there is no mandate requirement that you must seek legal counsel, it’s merely encouraged.
You’re more than welcome to engage in all legal action by yourself and on your own account. The formal term for representing yourself is “Pro Se.”
By choosing to represent yourself, it means that you intend to learn and find your way through the legal process of registering a federal trademark.
2. USPTO’s Registration Application is Online
The USPTO makes it somewhat easy to register your trademark through a publicly accessible online system: The Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS).
Fortunately, the USPTO’s website explains each step of the registration process and also features a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section that answers questions you may have.
Filing your registration online provides you a time efficient opportunity to complete the process. Further, you can complete the application process online in a matter of hours.
On the website, the USPTO gives you valuable information and video tutorials on the rules and regulations of trademarks. It also details instructions on the registration process, fee payments, and more.
3. Opportunity to Learn The Basics
Part of going through the legal process is learning all of the moving parts that come with it. Though a lot of the trademark registration process is complex and has various steps, there is always room to gain valuable knowledge.
Specifically to the Federal Trademark registration process, there are an array of guidelines that one should be aware of before proceeding.
Learning the difference between Distinctive and Descriptive Trademarks, Current Use and Intent to Use, and the meaning of trademark infringement are all topics you should try to understand.
With that said, the USPTO’s website and other resources offer a great opportunity to immerse yourself in such information.
4. Doing it Yourself Is Substantially Cost Effective
Registering online and on your own is by far the cheapest option there is. By hiring an attorney, your total costs may go up.
Below is a list of the USPTO’s types of registration forms:
- TEAS Regular Form costs $400 per class of goods and services
- TEAS Reduced Fee Form costs $275 per class of goods and services
- TEAS Plus Form is $225 per class of goods and services
It’s important to note that for Plus and Reduced forms, you must first meet its distinct requirements before applying online.
Lastly, the website details all circumstances that require other additional fees including, extensions, maintenance, and renewal. With that said, it’s important to be aware that simply registering is costly in itself.
One benefit to hiring an attorney is that it might save you money in the long run. If you attempt on your own and are unsuccessful you may end up paying the filing fees a second time.
5. The Fortunes of Trial and Error
When enduring this process, it’s understandable that you may make some mistakes along the way. Though that can be reasonably frustrating, there is a bright side to oversights.
If an error occurs, an opportunity to have a second chance at registering lies ahead. When a misstep takes place, you receive an Office Action.
An Office Action is when the USPTO sends you a notice about problems with your application. Fortunately, you have six months to return a response letter with corrections that satisfy all parts necessary for your trademark to register properly.
Because Office Actions are potentially complex, even if you been successful registering your trademark up to this point, you might consider hiring an attorney to help you resolve any office action.
After reviewing this guide, you should be aware of some advantages of registering for a trademark without an attorney. Even if you do decide to hire an attorney, understanding the thought process and effort behind trademark registration should improve communication between you and your legal representative.