How we went from Patent Attorney’s to The Idea Attorneys®
If you would like have a unique competitive advantage from everyone else in your industry, and enjoy “impossible to forget” status, then I’ve got a quick story to share with you.
Over a decade ago, when my partner Glenn and I decided to devote our lives to patent and trademark law, I suggested to Glenn what may have seemed to many be a rather obvious idea.
Why not call ourselves The Idea Attorneys®.
Glenn thought it was a fantastic idea, but he had doubts. He said, “John, there are hundreds of attorney’s practicing patent and trademark law. I’m sure someone has thought about using the name idea attorneys.”
At this time we were both buried with work, but I set aside a few hours each night to scour the trademark records to see if the name was taken. Amazingly, it was free. I quickly filled out the trademark paperwork and secured the mark.
And that’s how The Idea Attorneys® was born.
How Trademarks Help Identify You in the Marketplace
While I would like to think the success of our patent law firm has more to do with our hard work, I can’t help but remember all the times the trademark The Idea Attorneys® has helped our firm
- Newspapers and magazines like the South Florida Business Journal, The American Lawyer and the South Florida Sun Sentinel have interviewed us and written up articles about us solely because of our name.
- Clients call in and say they heard our names years ago, and when they had an idea for a patent our names immediately popped into mind.
- And at networking meetings I’ll constant hear, “Oh, you guys are The Idea Attorneys® right?”
That is the real power of a trademark. It helps you carve out a unique niche in the marketplace that defines you from all of your competitors.
Imagine doing an internet search and seeing a sea of random last names, Johnson, Smith, Master, The Patent Professor, etc…the names alone wouldn’t give you any indication of who to decide. But – and at the sake of tooting my own horn a bit – The Idea Attorneys® is much more memorable and persuasive.
Had I not taken a little time to research this trademark, we wouldn’t have this unique competitive advantage.
How to Get a Trademark
Applying for a trademark seems like a rather easy process. You simply fill out a form and pay the fees, right? The internet makes everything look easy. In fact, there are hundreds of websites that teach you how to "pack your own parachute" but that doesn’t mean it is a good idea.
However while the process is easy, the paperwork is filled with pitfalls. Here are a few things you have to watch out for.
Trademark Categories: There are 45 total categories of trademarks. 34 product categories and 11 service categories. You must decide which category your mark falls under correctly, or you may not be granted a trademark.
Trademark Searches: One of the common mistakes people make is assuming that just because someone else has the mark you wish to use, that you can’t trademark it. That’s why many people simply do not file paperwork when they encounter a trademark they wish to use during a search. This is a fallacy. If you file the paperwork correctly, you can have the exact same trademark as someone else.
Trademark Application: This is where it gets really hard to navigate the waters. Law, practices, and procedures relative to prosecution of applications to register marks in the USPTO constantly change. You may miss something very important if you are not up-to-date on these issues.
Finally, you must monitor the progress of your application every 3 or 4 months after the initial filing.
This is why many people hire trademark attorney’s to file the paperwork for them. While the upfront fees at the US Trademark and Patent office are very low to file a trademark, the work and follow-up to make sure your mark is approved is very time consuming.
If you would like to learn more about how The Patent Professor can help you with trademarks, simply click on the following link to request your free Trademark Information Guide (http://ideaattorneys.com/free-patent-information/free_trademark_information_request.html).