A trademark lawyer is a qualified professional with specialization in trademark law and practice. As a professional, he would have had to pass a number of examinations and also be part of an association, which professes a set of ethics and codes of conduct. He would also be required to be registered as a trademark lawyer.
In the countries of the British Commonwealth including New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom, special qualifications need to be obtained to be called a trademark lawyer. These are examinations that will need to be passed and may have titles such as “Protected” or “Exclusive” qualifications. This however, is not so here in the US.
Getting the services of trademark lawyers is recommended as they have full knowledge of all the laws pertaining to trademarks, the procedures to be followed to get trademarks registered etc. The following list shows some of what they do.
- A trademark lawyer helps you in choosing an appropriate trademark that will not violate any of the provisions of the trademark laws. He will arrange for conducting searches for similar trademarks and get a report on the outcome of such a search. Once the trademark is known to be available for registration, he will advise you on the costs to be incurred in getting the trademark registered.
- He helps you with the drafting of your application with particular reference to the description of the product. This is a vital requirement in the registration process.
- A trademark lawyer ensures that your application is complete in all respects and meets all the stringent requirements of the USPTO. Slight differences in the graphics from the norms can result in the application being rejected and he ensures that this does not happen.
- He represents you at the USPTO when answering all objections from them about your application. He writes briefs addressing the initial objections after submission of the application.
- He advises you in the filing and registration process. You can learn about the search process, online searching, costs, FAQ reviews and other matters pertaining to trademarks from him.
- He can help you defend yourself on matters relating to trademarks, if the need arises. If you get cease and desist letters, which are letters received from another party who believes his rights have been infringed, he can handle the situation to every one's satisfaction.
You can find a trademark lawyer through online directories or the yellow pages. You can also ask for referrals from your friends and business associates. If you do not succeed, you can contact the referral services of the State Bar Council.
While finding a trademark lawyer is relatively easy, finding a good one requires some serious effort. Obviously, you do not want a beginner with little or no practice. If you get one, it is likely to be a gamble.
You should look for quality by perhaps requesting another lawyer to recommend a trademark lawyer who can be trusted to handle your trademark matters. Someone handling trademark cases in your neighborhood can be approached and if he is unable to spare the time, he can be asked to recommend someone else.
Lawyers receive referral fees for sending clients to other lawyers. Such fees are about a third of the fees to be paid to the lawyer who will eventually handle the case. This is quite an incentive for a lawyer to send you to a good one. By openly discussing the issue, you can find the right lawyer. By being decisive and eager, you can find the right trademark lawyer.
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