Online Trademark Services: Good or Bad?

Let’s talk about filing a TM application without any help first.

There is no doubt that any US person, including legal entity having address in the U.S., can file a trademark application without absolutely no help.

The government agency handling trademark registration, the USPTO, provides ample resources including video clips to guide you through the process.

Although the form itself is not as user-friendly as it could be, you can do it yourself without any prior knowledge or experience.

Nonetheless, it’s not about simply filling the form.

You ought to consider many things before filling out the application form. From what can be trademarked to how it should be trademarked, there are many questions that you should ask yourself before you start filling out the form. The USPTO provides all relevant information, but you can fill out the form without studying them.

The thing is that all online fee services that charge flat fees ask you to choose on your own if you want a basic service or a more through service. How are you supposed to know?

When I prepare trademark applications for my clients,

I see cases where I end up charging only $200 for attorney’s fees in addition to the TEAS Plus fee of $225. That’s about on par with the online trademark services.

As I internally process all the questions a client should ask and ask the client only what must be answered by the client, the client might not know how much time and money is being saved. Some attorneys charge for those hidden time and money savings. That explains why they are more expensive than those largely automated trademark services via online.

I tend to talk to clients a lot, and some clients have tons of questions. I think they benefit more from my service. In fact, if you just want it to be filed and move on, you might benefit from automated services as I am not available 24/7.

By Youngsik Jeon, Esq.

J.D. Chicago-Kent College of Law; Georgia & Illinois Bar Member; USPTO Registered Patent Attorney