Creativity and innovation are among the fundamental driving forces of business. As the competition in the corporate world stiffens, companies and organizations must come up with ideas that enable them to stay ahead.
Developing an idea is not easy, that’s why you should protect those that come along, or you’ll lose out on them. Trademarking is the best way to protect your ideas legally.
Are you wondering how to trademark a phrase, device, symbol, or word? Your first stop should be at a trademark attorney’s office. But with several attorneys to choose from, you may find yourself overwhelmed. Getting it right the first time is crucial as it saves you money and protects your idea or products.
Here are seven tips to help you to choose the right trademark attorney.
1. Choose a Qualified Trademark Attorney
The right attorney should be both educated and licensed. It’s possible to find unqualified people offering their services. Most of them are usually unreasonably cheap. Don’t fall for this trap because it may be costly in the long run.
Make sure that the lawyer is a graduate from a reputable institution with a law degree. This doesn’t mean that they should be from the top law school. A lawyer from any law school can make a good choice provided the school is accredited.
Having a licensed lawyer assures you that you are hiring someone who can provide the right legal service. They increase your chances of success in filing for a trademark since they know how the system operated.
2. Check Level of Experience and Success
While you should have a qualified attorney, their experience and success in past work are equally important. The whole point of hiring a lawyer is to benefit from their skills. You need to hire someone who knows how to trademark.
Book for an appointment and find out their level of experience as a trademark attorney. Also, find out which clients they have successfully helped in the past and if they belong to your industry.
3. Ask for Referrals from Friends
Your friends or fellow business owners can help you find a reliable lawyer. No one would refer a lawyer who failed them. Referrals are good because of their previous success if they have worked together.
But referrals don’t always mean that the lawyer is qualified or right for you. Make an appointment and find out if the lawyer is skilled enough and is ready to help you. All cases are different, and he/she may not be a good fit for the job.
4. Choose an Attorney that Will Give You Maximum Attention
Some attorneys may dedicate most of their resources to helping big firms. Hence, clients may not be equal in the eyes of attorneys. Pick a law firm that prioritizes you regardless of your size.
Avoid attorneys who outsource their work to paralegals. Services from unqualified lawyers may not be good for your business. Confirm that the attorney will handle the job or provide close supervision of the application.
5. Pick an Attorney Who is Communicative
The application process for a trademark can be lengthy. Picking an attorney with good communication will keep you updated during this period. Working with a lawyer who doesn’t keep you informed or respond to your queries is frustrating.
Find out if the attorney will give periodic updates about the application. Also, inquire if the lawyer is the point of contact and how will he/she communicate.
6. Find Out The Attorney’s Capacity and Support
Legal firms are not equal. Some may not be able to provide the support you need. For instance, if you are applying for an international trademark, then a small firm may not be the best. Generally, big firms have adequate resources and support networks.
A large firm may have experience handling cases like yours. Unlike small firms, large firms may also have valuable information that can prevent legal claims. Working with a firm that has the capacity to get the job done will save you both time and money.
7. Make Sure You’re Comfortable with the Attorney’s Fees and Payment Plan
The trademarking process can be costly. It’s important that you hire attorneys with reasonable fees that you can afford to pay. Attorneys use different methods to charge their clients. Ask for a fee structure and any additional charges to expect to allow the way so that you can prepare funds in advance.
Payments don’t stop after the trademark is registered. It needs to be monitored continuously to ensure there’s no violation. If the trademark is infringed, then you should take legal action. That means extra costs.
Before you enter into a contract, make sure that the fees are favorable. A cost-effective way is to use fixed billing. Instead of going for a cheap attorney where good results are not guaranteed, negotiate with your lawyer to get favorable terms.
With these important tips on getting the right attorney in mind, you can start the hiring process. You may need to conduct several interviews before you find one that meets your needs. So, make sure to have a list of potential attorneys to give you wide options. You can find some with a quick search online.
Getting a trademark is important to your business. Although the process may seem costly, it will pay off. Just make sure to pick a lawyer that is qualified, affordable, and ready to work with you.