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Want to know why I advise against using Legal Zoom? Here's why.

I understand that for creative entrepreneurs just starting out and on a budget that the cost of hiring an attorney could seem expensive and out of reach. The investment you make in the beginning will save you money (and could make you even more money) at the end. As an entrepreneur myself, I understand. But having a properly registered federal trademark is important.

Nicole Gaither
February 27, 2019

I have a lot of clients who are in the process of starting an apparel business. It is definitely a great idea to obtain a federal trademark registration for the name of your clothing line because it is how customers are able to identify the source of your product. It also protects your brand and gives you the benefits of being able to go after parties that try to use the name.

 

 

 

I saw a post by LegalZoom pop up on my timeline: "How Do I Trademark A Clothing Brand?" While LegalZoom is considered a "cheaper" alternative to working with an attorney, you might not be saving you that much money in the long run. This article gives the false impression that the process is so simple. Well, it's not.

 

 

1. You do want to select a name that is unique.

2. You can (and should) do an online search to make sure that no one else is using the name. That can be done via Google and via the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

3. CRUCIAL MISSING STEP!!!

4. Develop a logo (hold on - you are missing a step)

5. File for a state trademark (again, a step missing!)

6. File for a federal trademark (very crucial missing step!)

 

 

You know what that CRUCIAL MISSING STEP is? Doing a comprehensive clearance search! Google and the USPTO search may miss names that are similar to your mark. If you move forward with registering for a state (or worse, federal) mark, you might end up paying more in the long run if the USPTO determines that your mark is similar to one that is already registered or pending. That could result in a refusal of your mark and your mark won't be registered. And the USPTO doesn't give refunds. 

 

 

It also could mean that if you have already started using the mark, you will have to find a new name and start from scratch. Rebranding will cost you even more. And if another brand name feels that your name is very similar to their product name, you could be facing a claim of trademark infringement and litigation.

 

 

I understand that for creative entrepreneurs just starting out and on a budget that the cost of hiring an attorney could seem expensive and out of reach. The investment you make in the beginning will save you money (and could make you even more money) at the end. As an entrepreneur myself, I understand. But having a properly registered federal trademark is important. That is why we offer 3- and 5-month payment plans. 

 

 

If you have any questions about the process, schedule me for a consultation at https://www.attornify.com/attorney/profile/nicole/1177

About The Author
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Nicole is the owner and managing attorney of Creativa IP Law, an intellectual property boutique law firm focused on trademarks and copyrights. Creativa helps entrepreneurs and creatives protect their brands and to grow so that they can make their vision a reality. Nicole has a passion for branding ...

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