The Difference Is Extremely Important Under the Law!
If you live in the United States you’ve probably seen the TM (™) and R (®) symbols used in everything from advertisements to product packaging. But what do these symbols mean? And which one can you use for your own branding?
Both TM and R protect your intellectual property rights in the American marketplace. If you’ve built a strong company reputation or cultivated a market of loyal customers, your IP or brand name could be the most important or valuable part of your business. Both the TM and R symbols signify that the brand name or logo has some level of legal protection.
As a business owner, you know how critical it is to build up your brand’s reputation and market recognition. You work hard to cultivate an image that will appeal to your customers. So what happens if someone starts selling products or services under your brand name or logo? What if a competitor copies your product designs or marketing materials?
Trademarks and copyrights work to legally stop these nightmare scenarios from happening by protecting your intellectual property rights in different ways. Your intellectual property or brand could be your most valuable asset. We’ve already discussed how important trademarks are to businesses operating on Amazon and beyond. If you don't take steps to protect your IP, your hard-built business faces danger from copycats looking to cheat their way up.
Depending on the type of business you have, you may need a trademark, copyright, or both to protect your most important IP assets. But the laws around IP protection are not always straightforward. That’s where a knowledgeable business trademark and copyright lawyer comes in to help simplify and streamline the process.
By working with an experienced attorney, you can avoid losing hundreds of dollars and months of time to an incorrect trademark application or copyright registration. Plus, you get to rest assured that you’re taking the right steps to secure the future of your business.
What does it cost to hire a trademark lawyer? The real answer - it depends!
Depending on what type of trademark needs you have, trademark lawyer fees can range in the hundreds to the multi-thousands of dollars.
For a trademark search and application, many lawyers will charge a flat fee. Find out what is included in the flat fee. If an Office Action is issued, will the attorney include a response? In a trademark search and application, the process seems deceptively easy, but there is a lot of strategy that needs to go into the application in order to have the best chance at a successful trademark registration.
If you've gone the DIY route and now have to respond to an Office Action, fees can range again from the hundreds to several thousand dollars, depending on how complicated the issues are. Avoiding these fees and complications are why good strategy and research is critical before the application is submitted.
If you're facing a final refusal, an appeal before the trademark board can easily cost over $10,000. Same with prosecuting or defending an infringement action. Some of the most expensive litigation can be trademark litigation. Therefore, it's best to get your ducks in a row before ever submitting an application.
If you'd like to book a call to discuss how we may be able to help you with flat fee trademark registration, book a call here.
Sarah E. Holmes is a Philadelphia business attorney and strategist that helps start ups and established businesses looking to expand, protect their assets and increase their profits in an approachable, down-to-earth way. When you're looking for a business lawyer in Philadelphia, the Main Line or New Jersey, we can help.