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  • Writer's pictureTamara Pester

Saving money on trademark applications

Updated: May 16

For entrepreneurs on a tight budget, every dollar counts. Surprisingly, as a trademark attorney, I advocate for strategic savings on trademark applications. Why? Because I've seen countless startups struggle with unnecessary expenses. Here's my advice: prioritize a comprehensive trademark search over blindly filling out applications. Investing in a search may seem like an extra cost, but it's a smart move that can save you significant headaches and expenses down the line. Let me guide you through the process of protecting your brand without breaking the bank. These are my suggestions for saving money on trademark applications.

Save money on trademark applications and keep cash in your wallet

My suggestion for folks with limited funds: if you have the choice between having an attorney do a full search to check your proposed mark's availability for use and registration, or having an attorney fill out the application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for you, go with the search!

A comprehensive search matters more in the long run. You will invest so much money over the years to market and sell your product or service, that it will eclipse the attorney fees that you spend on conducting a full search of relevant databases including USPTO records for the same or similar marks for similar goods and services; state Secretary of State records; and web/social media records. I want you to be crystal clear that your proposed mark is available for use and registration before you spend hundreds of dollars in filing fees with the USPTO. Then, you can confidently build brand equity.

The worst way to spend money is to skimp on the search and pay someone to fill out the application for you. This is what a newer attorney may do, or what a lawyer might do if their main practice area is not focused on trademark law. The application itself doesn't require an enormous amount of insight, just some familiarity or reading up on what you are supposed to put in all of those boxes! An attorney-led clearance search, on the other hand, will give you the benefit of a specialized attorney's years of practice and insight as to whether you will encounter problems with the mark you would like to register. Contact us if you need help clearing your mark for use and registration.

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