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How to select a trademark lawyer

Let’s talk about trademark attorneys. There are a lot of them out there. How do you know which one might be right for you? There are a few key considerations. This post assumes you need a trademark attorney because you want to obtain rights to a new trademark.

When It Comes To Selecting A Trademark Lawyer, Ask Yourself The Following…

Questions need answers before you proceed

Question 1: Is the attorney experienced in trademark clearance and prosecution?  Ask whether the attorney conducts a comprehensive trademark search, and if so, who does the research that goes into the search? Does the search cover common law trademarks? Ask how many trademark applications the attorney has filed, and what percentage of those applications have successfully registered.  Ask how long the attorney has been practicing trademark law, and whether the attorney has long term clients who consistently come back for additional services. The answers you get will provide some insight into the attorney’s trademark registration practice.

Question 2: How responsive is the attorney? Does he or she promptly respond to client inquiries? Will you be able to get them on the phone if you need to discuss something? Or do they work only or primarily via online communications – so you need to ask questions via online forms? An attorney who will respond quickly to you and who is willing and happy to get on the phone with you is very valuable.

Question 3: What is their fee structure? Are they very cheap? If so, it probably means you are getting bare bones service, and you might even be better off not using an attorney at all than using a very cheap one. [Caveat- I am NOT advocating that you EVER commence use of a new trademark or file an application without guidance from an experienced trademark attorney. Just beware if the price is too low]. If they are very expensive, you might be paying too much. You need their fee to be within your budget, and you need to bear in mind that the adage that you get what you pay for is generally correct. After learning about the attorney and their fee, ask yourself: is the service they are proposing what you want and is it fairly priced.

Question 4: And this may be the most important: What is their reputation? Do they have online reviews? What do their past clients say about them? Calling them up and talking to them is a good way to get a feel for the type of person they are. You’d be better off avoiding someone who is a smooth talker and seems focused immediately on snagging you as a new client, rather than listening to you and then answering your questions.  If in doubt, ask them for references.

That’s it for now. If you want to speak to trademark attorney Tom Wilentz, please call 914-723-0394.

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Thomas M. Wilentz is a published writer on intellectual property law who has been practicing trademark law for 18 years. His firm, Thomas M. Wilentz Attorney at Law, PLLC, was founded in 2003 and since then has helped clients from all over the USA, as well as from Canada, China, the UK, Australia, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore and many other countries.