Brand equity is an extremely valuable part of most businesses. A trademark attorney can help a businesses develop and protect its corporate identity, brand identity, and related intellectual property. Trademark lawyers counsel clients on the selection, availability, use, registration, and maintenance of trademarks, as well as related issues such as trademark monitoring, trademark licensing, infringement conflicts and negotiations, consent agreements, and customs recordation.

The ideal time to engage the services of an experienced trademark attorney is at the onset of a new business venture or launch of a new product or service—before the investment of significant resources and money. Hiring a trademark attorney may seem expensive. However, the cost of engaging an experienced trademark attorney at the outset will typically be must less than cost of a trademark dispute or litigation, or the cost incurred to stop using a mark after investing significant money and resources to develop the mark.

Trademark use is not risk free and an attorney can help to avoid costly mistakes that may expose you or your business to liability. Before filing a trademark application, an attorney can conduct a more comprehensive search for potential problems with use or registration of a proposed mark. If a mark is already in use, a trademark attorney can conduct a search to discover potential conflicts with other trademark owners. This can enable you make an educated decision about continued use of your trademark before any issues arise.

While you can file an application on your own, it is important to keep in mind that filing a trademark application begins a legal proceeding that has strict time deadlines and requirements. If a mistake is made in the filing, it can result in abandonment of the application or invalidity of any resulting registration. Additionally, the substantive and procedural requirements of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office can be complicated and arduous. An experienced trademark attorney can provide guidance through the formalities of the application process and ensure all filing, prosecution, and maintenance deadlines are properly handled.

Protection of valuable trademarks and brands does not stop at registration. If trademark rights are not properly policed and enforced, they may be lost. In addition to filing and prosecuting applications for trademarks, a knowledgeable trademark attorney can also assist with the maintenance, policing, and enforcement of trademarks and can offer valuable insight and support in these efforts.