DIY trade mark registration is an attractive option for many small businesses.
After all, the internet is full of advice to help you, do you need to pay professional fees?
All I would say to you, is would you do your own dental work? Would you handle your house purchase? Would you mend your car?
Probably not because you wouldn’t want to risk something going wrong because you’re not an expert in any of those areas.
I’m willing to bet you’re not an expert in trade mark law either, so why are you considering a DIY approach?
DIY trade mark registration
Whether you go DIY or not, you’ll have to pay a filing fee.
But fill out your application incorrectly, or file it incorrectly, you’ll forfeit that fee and will have to pay again.
What are the chances of something going wrong? Well:
- There are 45 classes of goods and services to pick from, and if you get it wrong your application will fail
- If you don’t use your trade mark for the selected class(es) within five years of registration, your trade mark can be challenged and revoked
- Competitors may oppose your application, and it will be up to you to defend it. If you decide to abandon it, you could be liable to pay third party costs
- You have to decide whether to register a UK, or EU trade mark and consider any other countries in which you should be registering
Of course, the whole process takes a fair amount of time to complete, so the more mistakes you make, the longer your brand will remain unprotected.
Hiring a professional trade mark attorney
Yes, hiring a professional carries additional costs, but this is your livelihood we’re talking about so isn’t it worth working with an expert?
They will help you avoid the pitfalls already mentioned by:
- Completing your application correctly, lowering the chances of rejection
- Getting it right first time means your brand will be protected quickly
- Ensuring the right classes are selected on your application for the strongest possible protection
- Helping you decide in which countries your trade mark should be registered
- Taking care of any opposition proceedings should they occur
- Making sure your trade mark remains registered by dealing with renewals as and when needed
When you look at it that way, using a professional rather than DIY registration is a no-brainer.
Why would you want to risk your company’s reputation for the sake of a few pounds?
Registering your trade mark correctly is investing in your business’s future. The only way to make sure it is done correctly and promptly is to use a professional.