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What are the Best Sources of Trademark Advice?

Alicia Sparks
Alicia Sparks

It’s important for business owners, inventors, and other entrepreneurs to find reliable sources of trademark advice. This information is necessary in order to properly file for a trademark, protect the trademark from use by others, and avoid trademark infringement. In some cases, these people might be able to find trademark information on their own. Such sources might include government agencies, law libraries, and reliable websites. In other cases, it might be best to consult a trademark attorney.

An excellent source of trademark advice is the region’s government agency that specifically deals with providing intellectual property, patent, and trademark information. In the United States, this agency is the United States Patent and Trademark Office. In most cases, the government agency will provide basic information, documents necessary for filing for a trademark or patent, and even a searchable database of current or pending patents and trademarks. The agency might provide this information via a website or it might require people to request printed information. Some agencies might make it possible, or mandatory, to make an appointment with an agency employee to obtain trademark advice.

Part of an application to register a trademark.
Part of an application to register a trademark.

Libraries are usually good sources of information, but because laws can change so frequently, it’s best to stick to law libraries. For the most up-to-date trademark law information, a person without access to a law library might find it easier to search the Internet. In addition to the website for the government agency that handles trademarks, there are plenty of websites that provide reliable trademark advice. One trick to finding reliable trademark information online is to look for websites with addresses that end in “.edu,” “.org,” or “.gov.” Websites with addresses that end in “.com” or “.net” can be just as reliable, as long as the researchers and writers for the websites are experienced with trademark laws and the trademark process.

Probably the best source of trademark advice is a trademark attorney. A trademark lawyer has experience with the exact information listed on a government agency’s website, but he also knows how to use that information. In other words, a good trademark attorney can provide trademark advice as well as help a person with each step of the trademark filing process. Fees for trademark lawyers vary, but some might provide free consultations to explain the process and let the clients determine whether to hire them. In the end, paying a trademark attorney to help during the trademark process can be much cheaper than the consequences for trademark infringement.

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    • Part of an application to register a trademark.
      By: fuzzbones
      Part of an application to register a trademark.