Any entrepreneur knows that growing a business is hard enough without having to worry about managing its intellectual property.
That's why many of them turn to trademark services: companies that help manage the legal aspects of a startup's IP portfolio. These companies manage your trademarks from trademark search to maintenance, so you can focus on growing your business.
In this blog, we explore some of the benefits of using an online trademark service and how to choose the best one for your business.
Why Use a Trademark Service?
Because trademark registration is a complex legal proceeding, it's best to rely on experts when creating or enforcing your trademark.
Trademark service providers can conduct trademark searches, identify potential issues with your application, recommend effective solutions for any problems that may arise. They can also help you optimize your application so that it has the best chance of being approved for registration.
Once your trademark is registered, you will need to keep it up to date. Online trademark services automate this process so you don't have to worry about managing maintenance fees or filing documents on time. They can also monitor the use of your mark, spot risks early, and help you bring office actions against infringers.
Employing an online trademark service can also help you save money on legal costs. For example, Digip offers a service package that includes trademark filing, trademark monitoring, and enforcement for one flat fee.
Who Can Benefit from Using an Online Trademark Service?
Online trademark services can benefit businesses of any size, but they can be especially useful for:
- Startup founders - If you are a founder of a startup, trademarking your brand should be on the company's early-stage agenda. However, startups often have limited resources, which can make it difficult to manage trademark issues in-house. A dedicated IP management team will free up your time to focus on growing your company.
- Companies with growing intellectual property portfolios - Managing a large intellectual property portfolio may consume a significant amount of time and resources. Employing a trademark service can help you monitor and manage each of your registered trademarks on an ongoing basis.
- Foreign-domiciled businesses - Some trademark offices, like the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), require that trademark applicants based outside the country be represented by a locally licensed attorney. Using a service allows you to process your trademark online from start to finish and gives you access to the appropriate legal representation from overseas.
Why Should I Use a Trademark Service Instead of Doing it Myself?
Filing a trademark application on your own can be tempting, but you must consider whether or not this is the best option for your business.
DIY filing may seem like an effective way to save money, but these types of applications are more prone to mistakes. Errors such as filing on the wrong basis, submitting the wrong specimen, or picking an inappropriate trademark class for your product or service can lead to delays in the application process—or, in some cases, outright rejection.
Online trademark services help you register for an appropriate trademark and make sure your application is processed efficiently.
Like law firms, most trademark services also assign a trademark attorney to handle your concerns. You can get legal guidance, managed services, and access to a convenient digital platform to monitor your marks—often at a lower cost than hiring a lawyer directly. Plus, if you need additional legal support at any point during the filing process, many will provide it for free.
How to Choose a Service That Fits Your Needs
Choosing a reliable trademark service provider can help you save time, hassle, and money. Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding on a trademark service:
Does the service offer the range of inclusions or legal services that you need? Some companies offer only one or two services, while others offer services from application to enforcement. A one-stop-shop will save you a lot of time and make sure that your application is completed with the knowledge and expertise to complete each step in the process.
Is the service user-friendly? You will be able to get more value out of a service if its platform is easy to use. Before committing to a service provider, ask for a demo session to familiarize yourself with the platform. You should be able to find what you're looking for and get the information or help you need with minimal effort.
How much does the service cost? Be wary of hidden fees. Look for a provider that is upfront about what they offer, how much they charge for those services, and how those fees are charged (e.g., flat fee vs billable hours).
What kind of customer service do they provide? When considering a trademark service provider, read through their reviews and testimonials to get a sense of how they treat their clients and how responsive they are to questions and concerns.
Get Expert Help to Secure Your Trademark
If you are applying for trademark registration, it's a good idea to consult with an expert to prevent problems down the road. A professional can simplify the trademark registration process and ensure that you get all the legal protections available to your business. That way, you can rest easy knowing that your brand is protected for the long haul.