Trademarks are provided under United States law for the purpose of allowing consumers to recognize the source of a commercial service and any associated level of quality. To a lesser degree, the law is also intended to allow the individuals and businesses offering these services to gain recognition for whatever level of skill they manifest in their business.
Trademark lawyers in the American legal system are trained and certified for the purpose of allowing hopeful trademark applicants to navigate the procedures allowed for this procedure and later, if called upon to do so, to help them answer or mount any legal challenges for the protection of trademark rights as may be required.
In this regard, the government agency which a trained trademark attorney must deal and possibly contend with is that of the United States Trademark and Patent Office (USPTO). The agency encourages and in some events may even require the use of a trademark lawyer for the initial proceedings of registration. If an applicant attempting to dispense with trademark attorney services proves incapable of acting independently, the USPTO may require the hiring of a trademark lawyer.
Prospective trademark attorney clients or practitioners should be aware that trademarks are not, strictly speaking, required under United States law, and in that sense neither are the services as can be provided through trademark lawyers. That is to say, the USPTO does not need to sign off on every symbol and phrase which is used for the purposes of public advertisement in the United States economy.
The procedures which trademark lawyers are trained in are intended, rather, to establish legal protection for a trademark which has been used by a business. In this sense, trademark registration does not confer rights of usage but rather those of preventing others from doing so, as trademark attorneys can accomplish in courts of law.
The main legislative reference point for trademark attorneys can be found in Chapter 3 of Title 15 of the United States Code, the nation’s comprehensive collection of Federal statutes. For the practical purpose of implementing these stipulations, a trademark attorney can provide to Chapter 1 of Title 17 C.F.R. of the Federal Regulations for Trademarks.
More specific references to specific requirements that should also be known to trademark attorneys are the Trademark Acceptable Identification of Goods and Service Manual and the Design Search Code Manual. By reference to these guides, trademark attorneys can ensure that a trademark is truly unique Applicants can also have trademark lawyers assist in procedures like the presentation of “specimens” and “drawings.”
The application time-frame differs according to whether the applicant chooses to claim either a Statement of Use or an Amendment to Allege Use, another decision a trademark lawyer can help them make. A trademark lawyer should also be able to remind holders of the requirement for renewal every ten years.
The USPTO is not allowed to directly put applicants in touch with a trademark lawyer. The USPTO instead maintains a trademark attorney listing on its website specifying which trademark lawyers are found acceptable by the agency.