What are the 7 red flags when shopping around for trademarking services?
What do you have to be on the lookout for?
Learn all about it in this short video:
Hi, I'm Andrei Mincov, and in this video, I'll walk you through 7 red flags you should watch out for when you shop around for trademarking services. I founded Trademark Factory® because I saw thousands of brand owners ripped off by all sorts of websites and law firms who hide behind terms of service that nobody reads.
They take advantage of people’s natural desire to simplify complex processes by promising to trademark your brand in a matter of minutes for next to nothing. We created a way business owners can get their brands trademarked for a guaranteed budget with a 100% money-back guarantee, which is something that NOBODY else does. If you want to protect your brand with a guaranteed result for a guaranteed budget, simply follow the link below.
But hey, we understand that Trademark Factory® may not be for everyone. But even if you choose not to work with us, we still want to help you avoid the common pitfalls. If you see any of these red flags when shopping around to get your brand trademarked, RUN AWAY! You are about to get ripped off.
RED FLAG #1: Price is too low. The trademarking process takes over a year. Office actions are issued against 68% of trademark applications. Responding to many office actions takes over 20 hours. The average hourly rate of a trademark attorney is three to five hundred dollars. So here's a million-dollar question: how much time do you expect an experienced trademark attorney to spend on your trademark for $69, $199, or even $399? The "too good to be true" low price usually means you are representing yourself. Except in the most straightforward cases, your trademark application will be refused—unless you spend much more on attorneys and trademark agents trying to fix a flawed trademark application.
With Trademark Factory®, you get experienced trademark attorneys and trademark agents to handle the entire trademarking process from start to finish, for a single all-inclusive flat fee. No hidden costs. No surprises.
RED FLAG #2: "Satisfaction Guarantee" / "100% Guarantee" / "Re-Filing Guarantee".Let’s get one thing out of the way first: a guarantee is not about fulfilling the main promise. It’s about minimizing the negative consequences of breaking the main promise. When you buy a car, it comes with a guarantee that it will be free of defects. But it doesn’t mean that you can be 100% sure that the car will not have a single problem. What the guarantee does is it creates an obligation for the car manufacturer to repair or replace the defective vehicle at no cost to you.
Similarly, nobody can guarantee that your trademark will be approved. The purpose of the guarantee is to address situations when your trademark does NOT get approved. And this is precisely where all those websites offering "satisfaction guarantees", "100% guarantees", and "re-filing guarantees" fall flat on their face.
Remember, the scope of online trademark filing services is limited to filing your application. You can be perfectly satisfied with the experience of getting your trademark filed—and still end up with no registration and no refund months later when the process is complete. And if you bring up the issue of guarantee, their terms of service will indicate that as long as they filed your application, there will be no refunds. Other than creating a false sense of security, the guarantee gives you absolutely nothing. Because if they cannot guarantee the approval of your trademark or refunding your money in case your trademark is refused… it begs the question, what exactly are they guaranteeing?
Some firms will offer a “re-filing guarantee”, which means that if your trademark does not go through, you can file another one through them. Some even have the audacity to offer you as little as $50 toward your future trademarks. But what if you don’t have another brand to trademark or if you’re simply not happy with their services? Tough luck! Let me give you an analogy. You go to a dentist, and they do a horrible job on your tooth.
You complain—and they offer you to do another one of your teeth, for free. How do you feel about that offer? That’s why if you don’t see “100% money-back” in front of the word “guarantee,” treat it as a big red flag. Trademark Factory® uniquely offers a REAL two-layer 100% MONEY-BACK guarantee.
If we do the search and spot any concerns with the trademarkability of your brand, you can get a full refund right away, no questions asked. We don’t keep any service charges. You get it all back. It’s completely risk-free. And if a trademark that we told you would be registrable doesn’t get approved by the Trademarks Office, you get a full refund as well. Regardless of how many hours our legal team spent on your file. You get back everything you paid us. If we can’t deliver on our promise, we don’t deserve your money.
RED FLAG #3: “DIRECT HIT” SEARCHES / “DIRECT CONFLICTS” SEARCHES / “KNOCK‑OUT” SEARCHES / “IDENTICAL” SEARCHES / “CLEARANCE” SEARCHES—All of these adjectives are synonyms for "useless".Direct-hit searches only catch identical matches. For example, a direct-hit search would not catch “Micro-Soft Software Solutions.”—because Microsoft never bothered to trademark that brand.
But guess how long it would take for Microsoft’s lawyers to be on your case? Also, direct-hit searches will not identify formal registrability issues, such as descriptiveness or genericness, that make your trademark unregistrable. Unless you are OK with the risk of finding out, many months later, that the trademark you filed had no chances of success and all the money you spent promoting your brand was wasted, make sure you get a proper comprehensive trademark search with a registrability opinion. With Trademark Factory®, a comprehensive trademark registrability assessment is included in our one flat fee to ensure your brand has the best chance of being registered. If we identify any issues, we share them with you, so you can decide whether you want to get a full refund, come up with a different brand, or proceed with your original pick at your own risk.
RED FLAG #4: “OFFICE ACTIONS” NOT MENTIONED / ONLY “NON-SUBSTANTIVE OFFICE ACTIONS” INCLUDED
Filing your trademark application is just the first step in the process. The real work begins after the Trademarks Office reviews your application in a few months. As I mentioned earlier, the Trademarks Office will issue at least one office action for 68% of all filed trademark applications. It means that in 68% of the cases, you will need to: Hire an attorney to fix a poorly written application for $300–$500/hr. (if it’s even at all possible at that stage); Respond to the office action yourself (again, assuming it is still possible at that stage and assuming you can do it); or let your trademark application die. And guess what?
Procedural or non-substantive office actions are the ones that require virtually no knowledge of trademark law and take just a few minutes to deal with.
The only office actions that really matter are those about descriptiveness and the likelihood of confusion. They are the ones that take the most amount of time to respond to. Coincidentally, they are the ones that require the most knowledge and experience with trademark laws. If they are not covered, be prepared to spend a pretty penny paying attorneys by the hour to fix your application.
To give you an analogy: getting trademarking services with only "non-substantive" office actions included is like buying a car with a warranty that only covers pumping tires and replacing stop lights, whereas failed engine, transmission, or electronics are not covered. So much for a guarantee, right? Trademark Factory®’s all-inclusive flat fee covers responding to any and all office actions—no matter how many, no matter how complex. And if we fail to overcome the objections cited against your trademark application, you get a full refund.
RED FLAG #5: REVIEW FOR “TECHNICAL ISSUES” / “OBVIOUS ERRORS” / “COMPLIANCE”
In many countries, only licensed attorneys are allowed to provide legal advice. Because most online trademark filing websites are not allowed to provide legal advice, they must limit their scope of review of the information you give them to technical issues, obvious errors, and compliance. It means you are not getting any meaningful advice on whether you should file for a word mark or a design mark; whether you should claim color as a feature of your mark; which goods and services you should include in your trademark application and for which classes; whether your specimens of use are acceptable; whether you should claim conventional priority for your mark; any other important issues with your trademark application. Let’s take goods and services, for example.
Except in the clearest of cases, most brand owners don’t really know what should go into that list. For instance, imagine for a moment you were Nike, or Apple, or Tony Robbins? What goods and services would you list in your trademark application? Online trademark filing services will not help you with that. They’ll just use whatever raw information you throw at them. All you’re paying them for is technical assistance with filling out the form on the Trademark Office’s website. That may be worth $69, but most business owners mistakenly believe they’re paying for real trademarking services.
With Trademark Factory®, you get all the advice you need, so we can file a trademark application that reflects the needs of your business and your brand. We work with you to build a list of goods and services that reflect your vision and then express them in terms that have a good chance of being accepted by the Trademarks Office.
RED FLAG #6: “FILE IN 15 MINUTES” / “REGISTER TODAY”…
If you see headlines and call-to-action buttons that promise you to trademark your brand in a matter of minutes, this means that: nobody conducts the proper trademark searches to ensure registrability of your brand;
nobody assesses the goods and services that go into your trademark application;
they just take the information supplied by you and mindlessly file the application. They don’t care about the end result, because the scope of their services ends with the filing of your mark. Or even worse, they may actually benefit from this when they or lawyers affiliated with them start charging you by the hour to fix your flawed application. At Trademark Factory®, we know that speed is important. We are the ones who always say that "it’s often too late, but never too early to trademark your brand". But quickly filing a faulty application does you no good. That’s why we make sure to get your trademark filed the right way. Our process typically takes 2–3 business days—but that’s how we achieve our 99.3%+ rate of success, unseen in the trademarking industry.
RED FLAG #7: “ATTORNEY-LED” / “ATTORNEY REVIEW” / “SERVICE SUPPORT”
All of these are just euphemisms for "you are representing yourself."Yes, an attorney will consult you in the process, but the application will not have an attorney of record. You are solely responsible for the process. You are on your own. That's why it's a red flag. It's a trap. Look, I hate government licensing and regulation more than most people out there.
I strongly believe that bar associations and law societies are not there to help clients but to allow power-hungry bureaucrats to rule over lawyers. But there is a HUGE difference between using Uber vs. government-regulated taxis and using an online trademark filing website over being properly represented before the Trademarks Office. When you ride with companies like Uber and Lyft, you typically get BETTER service for LESS money. You get picked up faster, in a cleaner car, by a friendlier driver, and you pay less to get you from point A to point B.
With trademarking, you are NOT getting the same service by avoiding the use of attorneys and trademark agents. If you don't have an attorney of record, you must respond to all office actions yourself. If you don't have an attorney of record, you must remember all deadlines yourself. If you don't have an attorney of record, you must deal with all oppositions and cancellations yourself. If you don't have an attorney of record, you must deal with EVERY SINGLE step that happens after your application is filed, YOURSELF. Why? Because nobody other than yourself and a properly appointed attorney of record or a registered trademark agent in Canada can communicate with the Trademarks Office on your behalf.
Trademark Factory® makes sure that every trademark application is filed and handled from start to finish by an experienced attorney or a trademark agent. These attorneys and agents will receive all correspondence from the Trademarks Office and respond to it on your behalf—at no extra cost to you. These attorneys and agents will make sure you can focus on growing your business while they focus on doing the one thing they’re great at getting your brand trademarked. So let me summarize the 7 red flags you should avoid at all costs—if you care about your brand at all:
#1: Don't fall for ridiculously low prices. You get what you pay for.
#2: If a guarantee does not mean you get a full refund if your trademark application is not approved, it's a useless guarantee.
#3: Filing a trademark with anything less than a comprehensive trademark search with a registrability assessment is like driving blindfolded.
#4: If their services don't cover responding to office actions about descriptiveness and likelihood of confusion, be prepared to spend thousands of dollars in hourly attorney fees.
#5: Review for compliance is a euphemism for "Our software and our clerks are going to correct typos, but don't expect any meaningful guidance."
#6: File in 15 minutes is a euphemism for "You can fill out our form and pay us in less than 15 minutes."
#7: If an attorney of record or a registered trademark agent is not handling your trademark application, you are handling your trademark application yourself.
I hope this video helps you avoid these red flags.
Seriously, there are few things more painful to me than seeing brand owners who THOUGHT they were doing what needed to be done to protect their brands, but who after months of back-and-forth and thousands of dollars in legal bills ended up with no registered trademarks and no refunds.
So if helps even one brand owner avoid getting ripped off, I didn't waste my time recording this video.
If you learned something new, please like, comment, subscribe and share.
And if you want to trademark your brand the right way, follow the link in the description.
And until then, I'll see you in the next video.
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.