FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 3 Nasty Trademark Rip Offs And How To Avoid Them

Here are the three most common ways that trademark services can rip you off and how to avoid them.


Rip-off Number One

Failure to perform a comprehensive trademark search before filing is the first rip-off; Their goal is to get you in the door, file for your trademark, and then see what happens.

This ploy is the strategy of many trademark companies and law offices and a big problem for brand owners. Your goal is not to file your trademark application but to successfully register your trademark.

If you don’t know that your chosen mark is available for registration before filing, the chances of successfully registering your trademark and receiving your certificate are virtually zero. 

You cannot proceed with certainty until someone does a thorough and comprehensive trademark search.

The search must include the following:

  • Identical trademarks.

  • Similar marks.

  • Marks in different languages.

  • Other elements necessary to be confident you can trademark your brand.

But what happens when that search shows your brand is not registrable? Are you paying for that? If so, how much do you get anything back?

Rip-off Number Two

The second trick which burns the most brand owners is the fee structure. Most services will quote a flat fee to file your application. Beyond that, however, you will pay by the hour or a specific fee from a long list of additional charges you may face.

These lists can be several pages of annoying fees you will pay throughout the process. And the trademark registration process is usually 14 to 18 months, with many steps along the way. Of the many steps in this process, filing is probably the easiest.

Be sure you understand precisely how much you will pay, and ask if you will pay to respond to any potential office actions. If yes, will you pay by the hour or per response, and at what rate?

What if the office action is complex and requires 10, 20, or 30 hours for a response, is that included in the original price? After trademark approval, is the post allowance work part of their fee?

Likewise, are your statement of use or declaration of use included?

And what about extensions of time?

You should ask all of these questions because you likely do not understand how the process works. Ask them what other expenses you might face which are not part of their initial fee. Otherwise, disappointment with ongoing invoices is a guarantee.

The trademark process isn’t cheap, but it should be predictable.

The rip-off is about perception.

You thought registering your trademark would cost $69 like the ad said it would. But after filing, you find out you need to do more and more and more until, eventually, that $69 becomes $6900.

Now you feel ripped off.

This outcome is why it is so critical to understand what you are paying for in the initial transaction. Always assume that the items not included will happen to you. Do not expect your trademark application to be a walk in the park because they rarely are. 

Rip-off Number Three

After surviving month after month of waiting, battling back and forth with the trademark office, and paying a stream of invoices, the trademark office can make one of two decisions. They can approve your trademark, or they can issue a final refusal.

Approval is your goal, and it is time to celebrate. Denial of your trademark can be devastating, and many entrepreneurs expect the trademark service or law firm to issue a refund for failing.

A rip-off is when you get hit with something unexpected. Be sure to ask about a money-back guarantee because the likely answer is no, and if you accept the deal, there is no rip-off since you are aware of the rules.


These are the three most common rip-offs facing trademark applicants:

  • No Adequate Trademark Search.

  • Hidden Escalating Fees

  • No Money-Back Guarantee

You can avoid these pitfalls by asking a few questions upfront and being clear about what that particular agent includes in their initial charge. 
Or, you can work with Trademark Factory
®’s professional trademark attorneys and staff to take advantage of our all-inclusive 100% money-back guarantee of successful trademark registration. It is that simple.

Contact us today to learn more and start down the path to trademark ownership with confidence and no unexpected fees.


Disclaimer: Please note that this post and this video are not and are not intended as legal advice. Your situation may be different from the facts assumed in this post or video. Your reading this post or watching this video does not create a lawyer-client relationship between you and Trademark Factory International Inc., and you should not rely on this post or this video as the only source of information to make important decisions about your intellectual property.