A trademark lawyer is as important to your branding as a property lawyer is to your house move. Just as property is a valuable asset, so is a trademark.
Some business owners are tempted to avoid incurring the cost of a lawyer by registering their own trademarks. We regularly encounter trademarks which have been filed without professional assistance, and which are either rejected, or fail due to fundamental errors. Other times the registration goes through, but the business owner is inadequately protected. There are a variety of reasons this might happen, some of which are:
- Carrying out, and interpreting the results of a trademark search before filing an application is far from straightforward. There are a number of different searches a professional would do to uncover earlier rights. Also, it takes experience of trademarks to assess whether a name is capable of being registered as a trademark. If an application is rejected by the registry there will be no refund of the application fees. So, this could lead to wasted expense, not to mention wasted time using a name which is unsuitable.
- Many different types of trademark can be registered, including names, logos, and even colours or jingles. However, the protection you receive depends on the trademark you file. If you register the logo as a trademark, this does not necessarily give exclusive rights over the name, even though the name might be included in the logo.
- The wording of your trademark application determines the scope of protection you get. We often come across registrations which are inadequate to serve the goals of the businesses involved, and the owners are unlikely to even be aware of this until a problem arises and they try to rely on their registration.
These are some reasons to seek help from a trademark lawyer. Unlike many other legal services, trademark searching and registration in the UK is unregulated. That means anyone can set up in business to help others register trademarks, even if their expertise is limited.
Solicitors are regulated by the SRA
A trademark lawyer who is a solicitor will be regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and required to comply with the highest standards of professional conduct, putting clients’ interests ahead of their own. Solicitors are also required to maintain comprehensive insurance cover, and are subject to strict financial controls. Choosing a regulated law firm to register your trademark means you will not be left at a loose end if their service fails to meet your expectations.
A significant benefit to delegating the job of registering your trademark to a trademark lawyer is that you can rely on their insurance company to pay out if there are shortcomings in the scope of protection they secured for you.
Breadth of services
You should also consider the range of expertise on offer. A specialist trademark lawyer will be able to offer far more beyond ensuring that your application meets the requirements for registration and is adequate to protect your interests. They will be able to advise you of ways to protect your brand internationally, and how to licence it to businesses in other countries, as well as explaining which other intellectual property rights might be relevant. They are also more likely to have a deeper knowledge of the obstacles which might arise and how to overcome them, such as on counter arguments to raise with the registry. Whereas unregulated service providers would need to refer you elsewhere if a dispute arises, a trademark lawyer who is part of a regulated law firm, will have the legal standing to represent you and conduct litigation on your behalf.
The importance of comparing like with like
In today’s marketplace, price comparison sites are commonplace in a range of industries, and technology is helping businesses such as law firms reduce their costs and pass those savings onto customers. So, it is typical for clients to shop around to find a good deal. As should be clear from the above, there are a whole host of issues to consider when choosing a service provider to register your trademark. Make sure you are comparing like with like, even when looking at the difference between the prices they charge. Beyond the factors already discussed, there are some key issues to be aware of when it comes to pricing.
Firstly, there are a range of costs involved in registering trademarks: the legal fees charged by your service provider; official government fees; postage; and bank charges for international transactions and currency exchange. Check whether the price includes all dues. Then consider whether the headline prices advertised cover just the initial legal fees to apply for a trademark, and whether a separate charge is made on registration. Does the price include sending you notice of any objections, or will you be charged separately for that?. Will you have to pay to have the certificate posted to you? Will you get brand protection advice and support?
Should I expect a refund if my application fails?
When your trademark application is filed, fees are payable to the registry, which vary depending upon the countries where you are filing, and the number of classes you would like to cover. Once your application and fees are submitted, if the application fails for any reason, the registry will not issue a refund. However, you might find that some business guarantee that your trademark application will succeed, failing which they will refund the legal fees you paid, excluding any amounts paid to the registry.
Unfortunately, this is not always as good as it sounds. If the trademark you would like to register is more complicated to assess they might simply play it safe and advise you to choose something else, in fear of the application failing and having to issue a refund. This may discourage you from proceeding with a desirable name which a trained lawyer may have been able to help you to secure by advising you of the risks, and offering support throughout the process, The mark of a good trademark lawyer may in some cases be to help you to register trademarks which might otherwise be rejected, rather than to deny you expertise for fear of having to refund your fees.
So, there are many technical and commercial reasons to use trademark lawyers when registering trademarks. Don’t be lured into a false sense of security by gimmicks like money back guarantees.
We have many satisfied clients who have provided Testimonials. If you are interested to use Azrights to register your trademark click on the button below to find out pricing for trademark registration: