Many people that we talk to about trademarks are tempted to register a LegalZoom trademark. For some people, this might be the right choice, but for others it could be a mistake. Learn more about the differences between filing a LegalZoom trademark and using a trademark attorney to file your trademark.
Is A LegalZoom Trademark Right for You?
Here are some points to consider when thinking about whether a LegalZoom trademark registration is the right choice for your business.
- LegalZoom will help you fill out a trademark registration form. The main benefit of doing a LegalZoom trademark registration is that they make it easier to fill out a form and send that information to the USPTO. Their software is easy-to-use and intuitive, but will not help you determine which form is the right one nor will they give you legal advice on your trademark.
- LegalZoom is not a law firm, so cannot offer legal advice. One of the key benefits of having a trademark attorney in your corner is that you can get insight on the strength of your trademark. Some trademarks run the risk of not being registered, or of getting limited trademark protection. Early consultation with a trademark attorney can help you understand if you run either of those risks – or others.
- LegalZoom may not help with followup items. Filing your trademark application is the first step in a process. After filing, the trademark examiner might have more questions about your application or things that he or she needs to see changed. Keeping track of these things and responding in the right way is crucial to avoiding abandonment of your application. Before using LegalZoom or any other DIY legal service, it is good to know how they charge for these types of followup services.
- LegalZoom may not perform and analyze searches. Although LegalZoom does offer some limited search capabilities, these may not be sufficient for everyone. One of the key steps in securing a trademark registration (and a brand) is doing a search to determine whether there are any potentially confusing trademarks that could hang up your registration (or worse, lead to claims of trademark infringement).
- LegalZoom can sometimes be more expensive than a trademark attorney. Although the upfront costs of a LegalZoom trademark registration are generally going to be lower than hiring a trademark attorney, we have seen that sometimes people run into problems that end up being more expensive to fix (for instance, replying to an Office Action that could have been avoided). As a business owner, it is important to take these longer-term costs into account when making your decision.
Ultimately, a LegalZoom trademark registration will be right for some people, but not right for others. The thing to understand is that LegalZoom is not a substitute for legal counsel (and they will tell you that themselves).
Your trademark has the potential to become your company’s single most valuable asset – so it makes sense to make sure that things are done right the first time. At the very least, a smart business owner should discuss their brand with a trademark attorney and then decide the right path.