Working With A Professional: Why You Need A Trademark Lawyer

trademark lawyers protect your interests in complicated trademark casesTrademark cases are complex. They involve not only showing that you own (or that others do not own) a particular mark, and they also tread into various areas of use, intellectual property rights and a dozen other assorted subjects. If you find yourself looking down the barrel of a trademark case, you owe it to yourself to consider hiring an attorney. Starting out you might be overwhelmed by the sheer number of lawyers in your area – it seems that even small towns have a couple of dozen people hanging around the courthouse looking for work. Rather than simply hiring the first person you see to represent you, you should make sure that you contact an attorney with a specialization in trademark law.

A Specialized Discipline

Trademarks are, to put it bluntly, complicated. While they are not quite the sort of thing that the average lawyer will shrink away from in terror, the cases that feature trademarks will almost always be passed off to an individual with considerable trademark experience. Most state bars require attorneys to pass on a case if they cannot provide the proper level of representation, and trademarks usually fall outside the scope of most attorneys’ knowledge. If you find yourself heading towards a trademark case, you might as well contact a trademark lawyer from the beginning- if you do not, you will likely find yourself being recommended to one anyway.

But Really, Why a Trademark Lawyer?

Perhaps the best reason to seek out a lawyer with experience in trademarks can be found by look at the average law school curriculum. First year students get a good foundation in topics as diverse as criminal law and federal civil procedure, but trademarks are nowhere to be found in the required subjects. In fact, an individual has to go out of his or her way to become educated on the topic – most classes are elective, and the topic may not even be covered on the bar exam. Trademark lawyers are those individuals who actually seek out the knowledge for use in later practice.

This educational gap transfers over to professional practice, as well. Trademark cases are not the stuff of daily practice for most lawyers, and most will go an entire career without ever having a client ask for trademark advice. A trademark lawyer, however, will represent individuals in these cases all the time – it is, after all, the area of law that these individuals choose to practice.

Trademark litigation or protection requires an attorney who is actually skilled in the practice. It is always better to seek out someone who has skills and experience rather than depending on a local attorney – it might hurt not to work with your family’s lawyer, but trademarks are simply too complicated to trust to anyone other than a skilled trademark lawyer. Finding that lawyer can take time, but it is well worth the effort.

The Important Role Of A Trademark Attorney In Your Business

trademark attorneyAn attorney who guides clients through the trademark process is involved in intellectual property law. In other words, the property in question is not a physical object one can touch, but an idea. The idea is a company slogan, name, or logo: a trademark. Think of the jingles and symbols you remember from certain products you loved. These were forms of advertising. Even a catchy name is one way to garner consumer attention and is, thus, important. When an entrepreneur first starts up his business, he often turns to a trademark attorney who will ensure that he does not infringe on someone else’s rights.

How might he make this mistake? If a new business owner registers a name, logo, or slogan without conducting a proper search of existing intellectual property, he might find himself facing a law suit. It all depends on the perspective of the trademark holder and the success of this new business which is using another person’s intellectual property unwittingly. Sometimes the issue will be dropped because the applicant was clearly unaware of his mistake and no damage was really done. In other cases, the plaintiff will seek reparations of some kind.

A trademark attorney is tasked to protect a client from making this kind of mistake, but also to protect a client from being compromised by someone else’s poor decision making. He conducts a search of registered trademarks and makes a trademark application for his client. There is often a set, one-time fee for this service based on the extent of the search plus the application. Clients can ask for more extensive searching to be done, thus paying a higher fee. Going deeper means reaching into not just federal but also state databases.

If the client wishes, he can request a letter of attorney opinion stating his findings. This will reflect the extent of his search into the legality of a trademark application and is part of a thorough search rather than a basic, federal one.

Yearly services are also available if a client is concerned that his trademark is going to be infringed upon. The trademark attorney protects this trademark by monitoring upcoming applications and various commercial markets to see if anyone is at risk of committing trademark infringement. The client also has obligations as the holder of a trademark and will be advised by her attorney if she is crossing any legal boundaries which put her at risk of litigation.

Not all cases of infringement are accidental. Sometimes a business person will take the risk of assuming that he will not be caught stealing someone else’s intellectual property. This is when attorneys act to protect the client from losing the power of a well-chosen name, symbol, or phrase.

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