Do I need an attorney?

Not everyone is required to have an attorney represent them before the USPTO. However, all trademark applicants and registrants must provide and keep current their domicile address in trademark filings. This lets us determine the identity of the applicant or registrant and whether or not they must be represented by a U.S.-licensed attorney to file documents with us in trademark matters.

If you are a foreign-domiciled trademark applicant or registrant, you must have a U.S.-licensed attorney represent you. If you’re domiciled in the United States, you’re not required to have an attorney. To determine whether you’re required to have a U.S.-licensed attorney, you must provide and keep current your domicile address in trademark filings.

Even if you’re not required to hire a U.S.-licensed attorney, consider whether or not you should. Be ready to act as your own attorney if you don’t hire one.

Benefits of hiring an attorney include:

  • Providing you crucial legal advice about your trademark.
  • Conducting your trademark clearance search before you file an application.
  • Preparing your application accurately.
  • Responding to legal correspondence from the USPTO.
  • Enforcing and maintaining your trademark rights.
  • Representing you at the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
  • Shielding you from fraudulent solicitations.

If you hire an attorney, be aware that your application fees will remain the same, but your overall costs of filing a trademark application will be higher because you’ll also have the cost of your attorney’s services.

However, in the long run, hiring an attorney may save you money because an attorney will know how to best advise you on your trademark’s registrability, prepare your application, and respond to the USPTO on various issues that might arise throughout the process. See more specifics about hiring a U.S.-licensed attorney, including access to free and reduced-price legal services.

There are numerous companies that state they will help you file your application. Some of these companies may offer legitimate services; others do not. Be aware that trademark filing companies are not the same as law firms. If you use one of these companies, you will pay their separate services fees as well as our fees. We don’t endorse the use of these filing companies.  Learn how to recognize private filing companies and which ones may mislead you.