Hiring a U.S.-licensed attorney (2023)

Discover if you are required to hire an attorney and why you should hire an attorney, even if you are not required to.

On this page

  • Am I required to hire a U.S.-licensed attorney to represent me at the USPTO?
  • What can an attorney do for me?
  • Why must my attorney be licensed to practice law in the United States?
  • How do I find a U.S.-licensed trademark attorney?
  • How do I know if the attorney or filing firm I hired is legitimate?

Am I required to hire a U.S.-licensed attorney to represent me at the USPTO?

It depends on the location of your domicile.

  • Yes, if you are a foreign-domiciled trademark applicant, registrant, or party to Trademark Trial and Appeal Board proceedings. You must be represented at the USPTO by an attorney who is licensed to practice law in the United States.
  • No, if you are a trademark applicant, registrant, or party domiciled in the United States or its territories. Nevertheless, we strongly encourage you to hire a U.S.-licensed attorney who specializes in trademark law to guide you through the registration process.

For more information about this, see the spring 2019 USPTO trademark rules change.

What can an attorney do for me?

An attorney who is licensed to practice law in the U.S. and experienced in trademark law can advise you about many important legal issues. These include:

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  • Determining if your chosen trademark can be legally protected
  • Determining the appropriate filing basis for your trademark application
  • Preparing and filing a trademark application with the USPTO that is complete and accurately identifies your goods and services
  • Selecting an appropriate specimen that shows how your trademark is used in commerce
  • Responding to questions and refusals to register your trademark from a USPTO trademark examining attorney
  • Helping you understand the scope of your trademark rights and the best ways to enforce them
  • Defending against challenges brought by others against your trademark
  • Preparing and filing documents with the USPTO to maintain your registration.
  • Although USPTO trademark examining attorneys can provide information about the federal registration process, USPTO employees cannot give you legal advice.

Did you know that if someone registers a similar trademark with the USPTO before you do, they can potentially block your trademark from registering? And that even when similar trademarks aren’t federally registered, they could ultimately prevent you from using and/or registering your trademark?

An attorney can let you know if your trademark should be available for your use and registration and decrease the possibility of you having costly legal problems by conducting a comprehensive clearance search for potentially conflicting trademarks and providing a legal opinion.

A comprehensive search includes searching the following sources for trademarks that could potentially conflict with yours:

  • The USPTO's database of federally registered trademarks
  • U.S. state trademark registration databases
  • Other sources for common law rights unregistered trademarks.

This search occurs before filing your application.

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It's your legal responsibility to monitor and protect your trademark from infringement by other parties. An attorney can help you understand the legal scope of your trademark rights and advise you on the best way to monitor and enforce those rights. He or she can tell you specifically what to do if you discover other parties are using and infringing your trademark or if other trademark owners claim that you are infringing their trademarks.

After registration, an attorney can also help ensure that all required registration maintenance documents are timely and accurately filed, so you can maintain your registration for as long as you use your trademark.

If you disagree with an examining attorney’s final refusal to register your trademark, you can file an appeal of that decision with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB).

If a party believes that either they’d be harmed by registration of your trademark or your existing trademark registration should be canceled because it conflicts with theirs, they can challenge the registration of your mark by filing an opposition or cancellation proceeding with the TTAB. Likewise, you can challenge someone else’s trademark application or registration at the TTAB by filing an opposition or cancellation. Oppositions and cancellations are trial proceedings similar to litigation in federal court.

Appeals and opposition and cancellation proceedings all have specific procedures and strict deadlines. A U.S.-licensed attorney who is experienced in trademark law and knowledgeable about TTAB proceedings can navigate these often complex proceedings, present your best case or defense, and help you settle the dispute, if appropriate.

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Why must my attorney be licensed to practice law in the United States?

Our regulations specify that only an attorney who is an active member in good standing of the bar of the highest court of any U.S. state or territory can represent you in a trademark application, registration, or TTAB proceeding at the USPTO. Non-U.S.-licensed attorneys and non-attorneys do not meet this criteria and cannot represent you in a trademark matter at the USPTO.

Non-U.S.-licensed attorneys and non-attorneys may give you inaccurate information and legal advice about your trademark rights and the registration process in the United States. This could:

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  • Jeopardize the legal validity of your application or registration
  • Prolong the time it takes for your application- or registration-related submission to be examined
  • Cause your application to be rejected or abandoned or your registration to be cancelled.

U.S. trademark law and USPTO regulations must be followed because they govern the trademark registration process before the USPTO, proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, and the conduct of attorneys who practice before the USPTO.

We take the unauthorized practice of trademark law very seriously. Your trademark submission can be rejected, or the legal validity of your trademark registration could be jeopardized, if you take advice or receive assistance from someone who is not authorized to practice law before the USPTO.

We also take very seriously the competency and conduct of attorneys who practice before the USPTO. All attorneys who practice before us are subject to our disciplinary jurisdiction and must abide by the USPTO Rules of Professional Conduct. These require that the attorney:

  • Has the knowledge and skill to competently represent you
  • Consults with you and keeps you informed about the status of your trademark matter
  • Does not make false statements of fact or law to the USPTO.

The USPTO's Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED) handles allegations of misconduct by attorneys.

How do I find a U.S.-licensed trademark attorney?

To find an attorney who can represent you before the USPTO in trademark matters, you can consult U.S. telephone listings or the internet, or contact the attorney referral service of a U.S. state or local bar association (see the American Bar Association's Consumers' Guide to Legal Help).

Make sure that the attorney you hire has experience prosecuting trademark applications at the USPTO and handling proceedings before the TTAB. The USPTO cannot help you select an attorney or recommend one.

Free or reduced-fee legal services are provided below

How do I know if the attorney or filing firm I hired is legitimate?

Many private companies offer legal services, such as assistance with filings or responding to an office action, or other services. Such services may be legitimate if provided under the supervision of a licensed U.S. attorney. But many of these companies are not affiliated with licensed U.S. attorneys, and cannot lawfully provide such services. Some offer services of dubious value, such as for example, offering to record trademarks in a private registry.

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Check out our Scam awareness webpage and review the parties and filing firms listed as subject to USPTO’s Orders for Sanctions or listed as an entity responsible for Potentially Misleading Solicitations if you have a concern about a filing entity with whom you are working.


How do I find a US licensed trademark attorney? ›

To find an attorney who can represent you before the USPTO in trademark matters, you can consult U.S. telephone listings or the internet, or contact the attorney referral service of a U.S. state or local bar association (see the American Bar Association's Consumers' Guide to Legal Help ).

What is the difference between TEAS Plus and TEAS Standard? ›

TEAS is the Trademark Electronic Application System used by the USPTO. TEAS PLUS is designed to be easier for both the applicant and comes with a reduced fee. In TEAS Plus the applicant can only choose goods and services identifications that are already approved descriptions in the goods and services ID manual.

Can anyone apply for a trademark? ›

The trademark must be applied for under the actual owner's name. The owner of the trademark is the person who controls the nature and the quality of the goods sold or the services rendered under the trademark. The owner can be an individual. The owner can also be a partnership, corporation or association.

What is the difference between copyright and trademark? ›

Copyrights primarily protect the rights of people who create literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works (like history tests, and software code). Trademarks protect the use of a company's name and its product names, brand identity (like logos) and slogans.

What is difference between trademark agent and attorney? ›

Trademark Attorneys and Trademark Agents does similar work except Trademark Agents don't represent their client in Courts like that of Trademark Agents. They are non-lawyer professional who are qualified to do the work of Trademark services. They have to pass Trademark Agents Examination to become a Trademark Agent.

Is a trademark attorney a lawyer? ›

A Chartered Trade Mark Attorney is a lawyer who is specifically qualified to advise on trade mark law and acts as an agent for the purposes of applying for and obtaining trade mark registrations.

What is the hardest section of the TEAS? ›

Many students find that math and reading are the hardest parts of the TEAS exam. These sections are difficult because there are many different topics covered and students are pressed for time.

Is the TEAS test harder than the practice test? ›

The practice tests were harder (Reading, Math, English) in the book, than the actual test. Although I didn't score 100% on any of those tests, I definitely felt well prepared for those sections and only missed a few in each. The Science test was so much harder than any of the practice tests.

Is TEAS 6 or 7 harder? ›

Will Version 7 be harder than version 6? No – the ATI TEAS, Version 7 is not designed to be any more difficult than the previous version of the TEAS exam. These tests are equated, which means they are comparable to each other and have roughly the same degree of difficulty.

Should my LLC own my trademark? ›

The LLC will own the trademark.

Every trademark has an owner, which can be a person or an LLC (or other business entity). The ownership of a trademark is determined by who uses the mark. If you plan on forming an LLC to operate your business using that trademark, the LLC must exist before filing the application.

How expensive is it to get a trademark? ›

When filing an application to trademark your business name on a federal level through the USPTO, you should count on paying between $250 and $750. According to the USPTO website, the trademark fees you'll pay depend on: The number of trademarks you seek.

Can I do a trademark by myself? ›

Registering a Trademark Yourself

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) provides a trademark application and instructions to walk applicants through the process on its website. In some cases, registering a trademark is straightforward and doing it by yourself probably wouldn't raise any issues.

Is Mickey Mouse a trademark or copyright? ›

Notably, the version of Mickey Mouse that we all know and love today is under copyright protection until the end of 2030. Disney also has trademark protection on that version of Mickey Mouse.

Is it better to patent or trademark? ›

If you're trying to protect a unique mark that identifies goods from your company, you need to apply for a trademark. If you want to protect a product or the ornamental design of a product, apply for a patent.

Should I copyright or trademark first? ›

You certainly don't have to register the copyright and trademark your company's name or logo. In the United States, you own the copyright as soon as you put original work on a piece of paper or computer drive, and you win a trademark as soon as you use your name and logo for marketing your business.

Should I use a trademark lawyer? ›

By having a qualified trademarks professional involved in the application process will ensure you have boxes ticked and any loose ends tied up so that the process is smooth. More often than not, with a professional on board, the road to trademark success is simple – the same cannot always be said of the DIY experience.

Why do you need a trademark lawyer? ›

A Trademark attorney assists a trademark holder or a potential trademark holder in every way possible by guidance and legal support. He also makes sure that the trademark he is applying for does not infringe with any other trademark holder.

Who can be attorney for trademark? ›

Who is qualified to become a Trademark Attorney in India? Anyone who is above 21 years of age, a graduate of any institute in India or has equivalent qualification. Such person must also clear the examination provided under Rule 148.

What are the two types of lawyers called? ›

There are two main types of criminal lawyers: prosecuting attorneys (also referred to as district attorneys), and defense lawyers. Prosecuting attorneys represent the government against which an alleged crime was committed, whether on the local, state, or federal level.

What are the 3 types of trademarks? ›

What Is a Trademark and What Are the Types?
  • Arbitrary and Fanciful Trademarks.
  • Suggestive Trademarks.
  • Descriptive Trademarks.

What is the salary of a patent attorney? ›

Salary Ranges for Patent Attorneys

The salaries of Patent Attorneys in the US range from $24,826 to $668,655 , with a median salary of $120,348 . The middle 57% of Patent Attorneys makes between $120,349 and $303,088, with the top 86% making $668,655.

What level Math is on the TEAS? ›

The Math section of the TEAS requires you to use algebra, numbers, measurements, and data to solve problems successfully.

Is 3 weeks enough to study for TEAS? ›

ATI recommends that you give yourself at least 6 weeks to prepare before taking the TEAS. The biggest mistake that students make on the TEAS is not giving themselves enough time to study for all of the concepts, so it's important to take your prep seriously!

What percent of people pass the TEAS? ›

Nationally, the average TEAS test score is about 60 percent. For students applying to an associate's degree program, the typical score is about 66 percent. Students applying to a bachelor's degree program have an average score around 70 percent.

How many times can you fail the TEAS? ›

You are allowed to attempt the TEAS three times in a twelve month period. Check with your admission advisor for the details of your program.

Are they getting rid of the TEAS test? ›

In early 2021, ATI announced that the TEAS 6 exam, which is required for nursing students to take before applying to nursing school, would be phased out in June 2022 and replaced with the TEAS Version 7.

What happens if you fail the TEAS exam? ›

Therefore, test takers should be sure to prepare as thoroughly as possible in order to pass the TEAS exam as soon as possible. However, those that do not pass on their first try are allowed to retake the exam. There are many schools that require test takers to wait at least 30 days before retaking the exam.

Is 58 a good TEAS score? ›

The TEAS exam scores are divided into three components: the Total Score, Content Score, and Sub-Content Score.
TEAS Score Range.
Academic Preparedness Levels for TEASTEAS Score Range
1 more row
Apr 15, 2022

What is a 58 score in TEAS? ›

TEAS Test Score Range
Academic Preparedness LevelScore Range
Basic41.3% to 58%
Proficient58.7% to 77.3%
Advanced78% to 90%
Exemplary90.7% to 100%
1 more row

Is TEAS harder than Nclex? ›

teas is harder than nclex. because teas is a weed out exam, it is used to decrease the number of students. that actually get into nursing school. so you have very little prep material available.

How much does it cost to trademark a phrase USA? ›

If you have ever asked yourself how much does it cost to trademark a phrase, according to the current fee schedule on the USPTO, trademark registration fees cost $275 per mark per class. If you need an attorney's assistance, the cost averages around $1,000 to $2,000.

How much is the trademark fee in USA? ›

When filing an application to trademark your business name on a federal level through the USPTO, you should count on paying between $250 and $750.

Who is attorney in trademark registration? ›

A trademark attorney is someone who has is an expert in matters relating to trademark laws, designs and practices. He provides legal advice and assistance in fields relating to trademark laws and other laws relating to IPR (Intellectual Property Rights).

What phrases Cannot be trademarked? ›

What Can't Be Trademarked?
  • Proper names or likenesses without consent from the person.
  • Generic terms, phrases, or the like.
  • Government symbols or insignia.
  • Vulgar or disparaging words or phrases.
  • The likeness of a U.S. President, former or current.
  • Immoral, deceptive, or scandalous words or symbols.
  • Sounds or short motifs.

Is it worth trademarking a slogan? ›

Registering a trademarked slogan will make the connection between your message and your brand for customers. This can aid your marketing efforts and add value to your business. When you trademark a slogan, you have the exclusive rights to use it to make money.

Is it worth it to trademark a phrase? ›

Is it Worth it to Trademark a Phrase? If you are using a catch phrase, tag line, or sales line with your goods or services, then yes, it is almost always worth it to trademark that phrase if it is available.

What is the cheapest way to trademark? ›

The easiest and least expensive way to register your trademark is online, through the USPTO's Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). Remember that you can only register one trademark per application.

Can I file a trademark myself in the US? ›

You can do this yourself on the USPTO database, and/or you can hire a professional firm or attorney to engage in this process. Fill out the trademark application on the USPTO website.

How long does it take to get a US trademark? ›

Usually, the process takes 12 to 18 months. Registering your trademark is a complex procedure that involves your application moving through various stages. Learning about each stage in the process will help you understand why getting a trademark takes as long as it does.

How much does a trademark agent charge? ›

Fees for a trademark application: The government fee is Rs. 4500 for individuals/startups/ Small Enterprises or Rs. 9000 for a Large Entity per mark per class. The professional cost may vary as per the service provider.

Is Llc better than trademark? ›

Is It Better to Trademark or LLC? No, it is not better. Trademarks and LLCs work together and a business needs both for complete legal protection. An LLC will help to protect your personal assets if your business is sued, while a trademark will prevent others from using your brand identity without permission.

Who is the rightful owner of a trademark? ›

The owner of a trademark is the person who applies the mark to goods that they produce, or uses the mark in the sale or advertising of services that they perform.

Can you get sued for trademark? ›

A trademark lawsuit begins when the trademark owner files a complaint with a court alleging trademark infringement. Among other things, the complaint names the parties involved and sets forth the allegations that form the basis of the lawsuit.

Can you sue if you don't have a trademark? ›

Technically you can't be sued for not registering your trademark. However, if you go into the market with a name, slogan, design or any other symbol that represents your brand, without making sure it has not already been trademarked, you could be sued for Trademark Infringement.

Can someone trademark my legal name? ›

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office can register an individual's name as a part of a trademark; however, it only grants protection to names that are extensively utilized in commerce or ones that are distinctive. Logos are protected to established names that identify a product or company from other competitors.


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