The answer depends on the type of business. To begin, legally, you do not NEED a trademark lawyer when opening a new business. But, in general, it would probably be wise to consult a trademark attorney for a standard new business. Aside from trademarking your own logos, company name and phrases, you need to ensure that your new business is not infringing upon the trademarks of others. If there is a conflict with an existing trademark, there are some options such as seeking a use license or creating a different trademark.
Further, as noted, certain types of businesses WILL need a trademark Law Firm like Revision Legal to protect existing intellectual property. Examples of such new businesses include:
- A startup with already established trademarks — such as a new business that recently purchased intellectual property (“IP”) including one or more trademarks
- A tech or other startup that will specialize in manufacturing or providing trademarked goods/services
- A new business that will be using licensed trademarks
- A new business that will be reselling trademarked goods
- A startup that has used assets — including IP assets — as collateral for financing
As a side note, there is often great value in hiring trademark attorneys BEFORE opening a new business, particularly to attract investors. Having registered trademarks — likely, intent-to-use trademark registrations — can make the difference for capital investors with many potential investment choices.
In any event, trademark attorneys are needed for these above-listed types of new businesses for several reasons. First, trademarks must be registered and existing trademarks must be kept valid. All trademarks currently registered must be properly maintained with the US Patent & Trademark Office. That process is not just about filing the renewals, but is also about proper use of existing trademarks in interstate commerce and policing potential infringement. Second, experienced trademark lawyers can also maintain trademark registration at the State level (and internationally, if applicable). Third, retaining a trademark Law Firm also ensures that your new business is accurately and correctly using a trademark and not infringing on the trademarks of others. Finally, it is essential to monitor and police the marketplace to prevent infringement of your company’s trademarks.
As for other types of new businesses, hiring a trademark attorney may not be required for opening your business. But, a newly opened business will need a trademark lawyer very soon after business success. Typically, the time frame is about 12 to 18 months. This is because, as your new business captures market share, your IP increases in value. Trademarks are part of your intellectual property and, like other business assets, trademarks will gain value as your business grows. It is important to provide legal protection for those assets and ensure that competitors cannot “steal” your trademarks. It is very costly to litigate with competitors over who has ownership over trademarks. It is much less risky and expensive to hire experienced trademark attorneys to register your trademarks and help police against infringement.
Contact the Trademark Attorneys at Revision Legal