Whether your company has been in business for a long time or you’re just starting out, it may be wise to consult a trademark attorney. What exactly will this type of attorney do? And does your business need one? Read on below to find out what to expect from an Austin trademark attorney.
If your company is fairly new or this is the first time you need to file a trademark, having someone experienced to guide the way is indispensable. Even beyond the first time, though, this type of advice helps ensure the best outcome. To guarantee quality legal services, make sure to use licensed attorneys.
Registering a Trademark
It’s not necessarily a requirement to federally register a company’s trademark with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). However, it is typically recommended. There are a number of legal benefits that come with it: important protection and rights. And if you do receive registration status, your company is able to use the Ⓡ symbol. The attorney hired should have plenty of experience with filing applications.
Trademark Knock-Out and Clearance Searches
This important pre-application service is meant to ensure the proposed trademark is not too similar to an already existent one or another pending application. Performing a clearance search helps ensure a trademark application is approved. It can also prevent a future complicated and expensive legal issue.
A trademark knock-out search service allows attorneys to quickly comb through the USPTO database. But this is usually only able to search for similar wording, rather than design elements. Sometimes, this is enough. Performing a more thorough search may cost more but could be necessary.
USPTO Application Services
A trademark attorney provides essential guidance during the application process. This includes drafting a company’s trademark application and ensuring it is accurate, complies with all requirements, and fits the right classifications.
An attorney can help estimate significant dates regarding the trademark, such as when it was first used. Attorneys are also skilled at providing careful descriptions and evidence, minimizing application risks.
Once the application is drafted and approved, the attorney will file it with the USPTO.
The time it takes to register a trademark can vary. However, it can take longer if there are any legal issues with the application. Hiring an experienced attorney helps to avoid those. An attorney is also good to have on hand if there is any back-and-forth correspondence with the USPTO throughout this process.
Assistance With Office Actions
An office action is a notice served by the USPTO. These can be issued for a number of reasons. It could be that some aspect of the application needs to be clarified. Or it could be that the USPTO needs more information.
Office actions are also issued if the USPTO denies the application. If this happens, additional services are provided by trademark attorneys. This could be double-checking the original application for any errors, missing information, or the like. Or it could mean responding to substantive and administrative issues raised by the USPTO examiner. A trademark attorney may also prove invaluable in providing representation before the USPTO Trial and Appeal Board in the event you need to appeal to overcome a refusal or you need to defend against an opposition by a third party.
Avoiding Pre-Registration Trademark Abandonment
No matter how long the registration takes, you should make sure that the Austin trademark attorney you hire will keep you up to date. There will be deadlines for certain steps that you don’t want to miss. If the USPTO requests an office action, you are typically granted a six-month deadline to complete it. An effective attorney will keep you aware of this and file necessary documents on time.
International Trademark Services
Once received, USPTO registration gives a company protection and rights in the United States. But while it’s easy to overlook, international trademark protection is incredibly important as well. Austin trademark attorneys should be able to secure registration of the trademark outside of the United States.
Trademark attorneys provide counsel that can determine whether an international trademark is a route to explore. Likewise, the trademark experts will advise the best path for going about this. If your company does business in other countries, you would want to register with them as well. Already having your USPTO registration could help with the process in some cases.
In Europe, receiving a Community Trademark registration covers participating countries. Make sure the Austin trademark attorney has experience with these international processes. Here at Berkeley Law and Technology Group, we not only have this experience but also beneficial connections with international firms.
Some businesses may have a full portfolio of different trademarks. It does not need to be the company’s responsibility to keep track of them all. Trademark attorneys provide assistance for developing, monitoring, and managing trademark portfolios.
Once a trademark is established and registered, that doesn’t mean the need for legal services suddenly goes away. A trademark attorney provides services to help brands understand, monitor, and protect their trademark rights going forward. A trademark attorney also provides services to help companies properly use their trademarks in commerce.
If another company infringes on your trademark, it’s good to have an attorney on hand. Likewise, if you are accused of infringing on another existing trademark. A trademark attorney will help you file or respond to a Trademark Cease and Desist letter. If the lawsuit goes to court, they will provide representation.
To keep up a trademark registration, renewal filings are requested. Typically, the first comes in the fifth or sixth years of trademark ownership. A trademark attorney can file trademark renewal documents on a company’s behalf. Filing these in a timely and accurate manner ensures trademark rights are maintained.
Protection for a brand and its trademark is important, but it’s not the only thing. A company and trademark will also need to succeed and grow. Experienced trademark attorneys provide expert advice and services for this as well.
For the best Austin trademark attorney, look no further than Berkeley Law and Technology Group. Our attorneys have the experience and expertise to provide the best legal services to a wide range of businesses. You can find more information on us on our website. You will also find a contact form. You can use this to reach out to us if you are interested in a free trademark registration consult.