The TrademarkConnect Difference Will Save You Money

Trademark Connect-Linked InUnlike domain name or even company name registration, which are both quick and relatively inexpensive, the trademark registration process takes an average of eight (8) to twelve (12) months to complete. Rather than simply going to an online site and purchasing a domain name or company name, obtaining a trademark registration includes a prosecution process which often includes more technical communications than just completing an online form.  Therefore, it is advisable to use an experienced attorney in trademark prosecution matters when filing for trademark registration.

 

You are about to discover four (4) very important things to pay close attention to when choosing a firm to file and/or prosecute your trademark application. But before we go there, you should get a glimpse of how the trademark process works.

Business owners often feel disappointed because they get to learn these basics after they’ve realized that they only paid for a small portion of the total trademark process fee at the time of filing, and that in order to complete the trademark application process, and receive their registration, they must pay more, and then sometimes, more again.

THE TRADEMARK PROCESSThe Trademark Application Process

Here’s what happens before a trademark is registered:

  1. Do a search to determine if the selected trademark is registrable.
  2. The trademark application is drafted and filed with the trademark office. At this time, a government filing fee is paid.
  3. It takes a few days before the application becomes properly entered into the trademark office system, at which point the application is said to be formalized.
  4. In several months, the application is either approved (which means that a trademark examiner has reviewed your application and decided everything is acceptable) or an office action is issued (which means that the trademark examiner determined that there are issues with your application). If an office action is issued, the applicant is given the opportunity to amend or fix the pending application, or may present legal argument to the examiner explaining why the application in its current condition should be approved.
  5. Once approved, the trademark application is published (advertised) in the trademark office’s Official Gazette, which opens a short period of thirty (30) days during which time any interested party may request that your trademark not be registered (the opposition period). If the application is opposed, then the applicant and the interested party (opposer) get involved in opposition proceedings, which are rare (they only happen in a fraction of all applications filed) as they are time-consuming and costly.
  6. If no third party opposes your application or you are successful during the opposition proceedings, the trademark application is allowed.
  7. Finally, the trademark is registered. The U.S. Trademark Office requires no additional fee for final registration.

Now that you know the steps your trademark application will go through, let’s talk about those issues you should pay particular attention to when choosing a firm to prosecute your trademark applications, and how TrademarkConnect is different.

  1. Responding to Office Actions

When discussing a trademark application with your attorney, you usually ask the question “How much will it cost to register my trademark?”

The typical response is: “we attach a copy of our latest schedule of fees for your reference. For your convenience, we have highlighted the approximate costs of preparing and filing a single trademark application as $xxx plus the USPTO’s filing fees $xxx.”

Somewhere in the attorney’s agreement, it will also say something like: “if an office action is issued during examination, we will docket such response and report to you with our recommendations to overcome the objections raised in the adverse report as well as the approximate cost. The prosecution costs for the matter vary depending on the nature of the objections raised and the hourly rate of the lawyer preparing the response. The attorney’s hourly rate is presently $xxx. The approximate cost of reporting to you would be from $xxx. Complex objections requiring submission of evidence is subject to highly variable costs.”

As a result, a trademark application that may only cost $600 to prepare and file, can easily end up costing from $2,000 to $4,000, or even more once all the trademark office’s objections have been addressed.

How to avoid this concern:

Always ask, does the quoted price cover unlimited responses to office actions and examiner’s objections? A typical response to a single office action will require 2 to 5 hours. A response that involves drafting a legal argument to change the examiner’s mind can easily require 5 to 10 hours. Multiply that by the lawyer’s hourly rate, and you’ll see how much you may end up spending.

The TrademarkConnect Difference:

TrademarkConnect’s all-inclusive trademark registration package comes with a single all-inclusive flat fee that covers unlimited amount of time it would take to respond to any and all office actions or any other correspondence with the trademark office on your behalf.

Filing Trademark Applications for Unregistrable Trademarks2.  Filing Trademark Applications for Unregistrable Trademarks

Unfortunately, with some online trademark filing services, “they’ve never met a trademark they didn’t like.” If a firm gains more from filing a flawed application than seeing a straightforward one to registration, why would it spend time doing proper research as to whether the trademark to be filed is registrable? They would typically do a “knock-out search” (meaning a quick search that would eliminate trademarks that are identical to those already registered) in order to avoid being accused of incompetence, but then later come up with a “plausible” reason for all the objections later raised by the trademark examiner.

But it goes further than that, since many online trademark filing companies don’t even offer an option to help you respond to office actions. So, their “gain” will be collecting fees to file your trademark application, and then you are on your own.

How to avoid this concern:

Always ask, am I paying for just filing of the application or for the entire process from start to finish? If it’s just the filing, think whether you know enough to be able to respond to correspondence from the trademark office yourself. If they tell you they will be helping you throughout the process, make sure you follow with tips discussed in numbers 1, and 3. Oh yes, and don’t forget to address number 4.

The TrademarkConnect Difference:

With TrademarkConnect, you get much more than an automated “knock-out” trademark search. You get a trademark professional doing the search for identical and similar marks, summarized in a report or explained over the phone, without charge.  In addition, TrademarkConnect does have the expertise to prosecute your trademark application from start to finish, all for a single all-inclusive flat fee.

  1. Additional Charges

It is not at all uncommon for trademark firms to charge separate fees for the following:

  • Initial consultation with a trademark professional;
  • Direct hit search;
  • Registrability search;
  • Verifying and reporting filing and proof sheet;
  • Requesting corrections of errors in filing notice;
  • Receiving corrected filing receipt and reporting to client;
  • Reporting an office action to client;
  • Requesting an extension of time to respond to an office action;
  • Filing certified copy of a foreign registration;
  • Conducting a status inquiry;
  • Reviewing and reporting a notice of approval;
  • Reviewing and reporting publication for opposition;
  • Reporting a notice of allowance;
  • Requesting an extension of time to file Statement/Declaration of Use;
  • Filing Statement/Declaration of Use;
  • Reporting certificate of registration;
  • Having a phone call with a client;
  • Answering some simple questions by email.

How to avoid this concern:

When you receive a schedule of fees, don’t assume that most of the things listed above are not relevant in your case. Many of them will be relevant, and you will be invoiced for them as your trademark application is making its way through the process from filing to registration. If you did not receive the schedule of fees, ask if you will be invoiced for all of the items in this list.

Another way to ask the same question is, can you quote a fixed fee for the entire process from start to finish?

The TrademarkConnect Difference:

TrademarkConnect’s all-inclusive package comes with a single all-inclusive flat fee that covers all of these items. That’s why it’s called a single all-inclusive flat fee! You don’t need to worry about getting more invoices from us every time we do something for you.

OUR GUARANTEE

  1. Money-Back Guarantee

Most firms will give you a peculiar look if you ask them if they can offer a money-back guarantee if your trademark application is not approved. They’ll tell you that they will have invested the time on your behalf, that the trademark examination process is subjective, that lawyers cannot guarantee results, and come up with a hundred other good excuses.

Bottom line is, even if your application is handled by the most experienced lawyers on the planet, things may go wrong. The trademark examination process is subjective. There is a human being on the other end of your application, and what one examiner will approve without issues or concerns may just as easily be rejected by another.

The question is, what do you prefer if something unexpected happens – an apology by email, or a check for the amount paid the firm in fees at the time you paid to get your trademark registered?

How to avoid this concern:

Just ask the simple question, “if the trademark office issues a final refusal to register my trademark, will I get my money back?”  In asking the question, you’ll at least be knowingly buying something without any guarantees.

The TrademarkConnect Difference:

When you get a free trademark search report from TrademarkConnect, you will receive an opinion as to the likelihood of success in getting your mark registered, as well as the level of guarantee that we will provide if you purchase our all-inclusive package and your trademark does not get approved.

For trademarks that we classify as unregistrable, it will be 0%. We are happy to guarantee what’s possible, but not for marks that we consider difficult, if not impossible to register.

For trademarks that are seriously problematic, it will be 50%. That’s right, if after completing our search we believe there is at least a possibility for registration, we will still invest as much time as needed to get your trademark registered, and if we are unsuccessful, you’ll get 50% of our single all-inclusive fee returned, less the government filing fee.

For trademarks with minor concerns and for those trademarks where we did not identify issues, we will offer a 100% money-back guarantee. If your trademark is then later rejected, you will get all of our single all-inclusive fee returned, less the government filing fee.

Registration symbolConclusion

Protecting the brand of your business is extremely important. Don’t damage your valuable intellectual property because you are afraid of the trademark application process, as well as the [hidden] costs associated with the application process.

In the past, I would say the concerns discussed here were responsible for the vast majority of all horror stories you may have heard about prosecuting trademark applications, dealing with trademark firms and unpredictable legal fees. Until recently, there was no alternative to dealing with firms that act this way. Ask the questions mentioned and discussed here and when you receive the expected answers over and over again, check out TrademarkConnect’s all-inclusive package.

You will be satisfied, guaranteed!

 

If you are wondering if your brand is eligible for a trademark, I’d be happy to have a conversation with you. Click here to schedule a time to chat.

If you are wondering how you can protect your brand and intellectual property, I’d be happy to provide you with a complimentary consultation. Click here to schedule a time to chat.

TrademarkConnect360.com

 

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