DIY Trademark Story

As an IP attorney, I remember the first time one of my patent clients discovered a product on the market that used the same trademark as his product. He asked me if we could send a cease and desist letter. I was unaware of his trademark because, in an effort to save money, he had applied for the trademark online through one of those DIY legal sites. These sites do not provide legal advice, but merely the paperwork to help people who want to complete patent or trademark applications on their own. Once I looked at his trademark application, I told him there was very little he could do based on how the application was filled out.

 

DIY Patent Story

That was nearly a decade ago. Since then, I’ve had clients come and go who had prepared trademark and patent applications online and wanted to move forward with a business plan, or needed a legal opinion from a patent attorney in order to meet with investors. One client even obtained a patent on her own, but had no idea what to do with it. She reached out to us because her maintenance fees were due, and she was thinking about licensing her patent to a company outside of the U.S. I told her that her patent only covered activities and products in the U.S. She asked how she could obtain a patent abroad and I had to explain to her that all of the deadlines had already passed.

 

Why I’m Writing this Blog

I meet inventors and entrepreneurs who ask broad, open-ended questions about starting a new company, obtaining intellectual property protection, about non-disclosure agreements, and licensing…  Whenever I meet other professionals in the innovation sector who serve as mentors, conduct workshops, and work with people, we all have similar stories to share.

This blog will be storytelling. Stories that offer successful entrepreneur tips, and startup mistakes to avoid. My mission is to help entrepreneurs intelligently navigate their path to and beyond success, without getting burned.