I've been practicing trademark law for a long time. And, at times, it can be frustrating to convince someone that they should consider employing my services. More than once I have had to tactfully resist saying " I told you so" when a client went forth without advice and got into trademark trouble.

But I would never dream of making the claims set forth in an article currently being distributed widely on the net. WHAT IS A TRADEMARK ATTORNEY, dated September 3, 2008 makes some claims that leave me shaking my head. After a typical, slightly self serving description of why businesses need a lawyer and sketching the process for choosing and registering a trademark the author then makes some startling statements.

A business which has no registered trademarks risks losing their clients and their respect. Anyone could use their trademark, making everybody confused. If the business would have a registered trademark the owners could sue anyone trying to copy it or using it on their products.

Put simply: there is no legal need to federally register a trademark in the United States. And federally registering a trademark most certainly will NOT give one the absolute right to sue anyone trying to copy it or use it on their products.

When having an attorney you can be safe in any situation and legal issues will not be a problem.

Oh how I wish it were so. The best attorney in the world cannot guarantee your trademark safety. The best attorney in the world cannot tell you that legal issues will not be a problem. Ask eBay. Ask Google. Ask Microsoft. Ask Dell.

The article contains a link to a site promoting a FREE five day course in trademarking.

I firmly believe that the new rules of rendering professional services mean that lawyers must give away the basics. But I now realize that a much older rule of the marketplace still applies: caveat emptor baby!!


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