When Should You File A Trademark Application?

Are you new to entrepreneurship and unsure if you’re ready to file for a trademark? Today, on the Legalpreneur Podcast, I share exactly when it’s imperative to file for legal protection of your business.  If you have the means to file, it’s always better to get your trademark as soon as possible, although if you’re still in the experimental phase you may be able to delay, for a short time, as your business gets established. 

A trademark takes a minimum of 13 months to process during which time you or your attorney will search and verify that your brand name is not already in use. Many entrepreneurs don’t realize that a trademark covers more than just identical brand names but also anything that is similar enough to warrant a cease and desist letter. If your attorney does not require a trademark search, it’s time to find a new attorney!

Filing your Trademark is a lengthy and expensive process but the long term costs of operating your business without legal protection is much higher. An unprotected brand leaves you vulnerable to legal action that could kill your business before it has a chance to really develop. 

If you want expert advice so you can determine if it’s time to file for your trademark, listen now!


Key Takeaways:

[1:00] An accelerator helps a startup accelerate their business

[2:10] If a function of your business brings you joy, DO IT, even if it isn’t bringing in revenue

[3:48] When should you file a trademark application 

[4:20] If you can afford to get your trademark, get it!

[4:40] It takes at least 13 months to file your trademark

[5:00] Trademark infringement doesn’t just cover your name but also names that are very similar

[5:30] Every reputable trademark attorney should require you to do a trademark search

[6:20] Once you shift from the test phase to a legitimate business it’s time to get protection

[7:30] The trademark course helps you search, file, overcome office action and set up licensing

[8:05] The licensing agreement is the most expensive aspect of your trademark


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The Legalpreneur Podcast is advertising/marketing material. It is not legal advice. Please consult with your attorney on these topics. Copyright Legalpreneur Inc 2022



Legalpreneur transcript:

Andrea Sager  00:03

Welcome to the Legalpreneur podcast. I’m your host Andrea Sager founder and CEO of Legalpreneur Inc. As a serial entrepreneur and someone that works exclusively with small business owners legally protecting their business. I’m dedicated to covering common legal issues faced by business owners, providing you with the business knowledge you need to catapult your business’s growth and showing you just how some of the world’s most elite entrepreneurs have handled these legal and business issues themselves. In true attorney fashion. The information in this episode is not legal advice. This is for informational purposes only and you should always consult with your attorney before implementing any of the information in the show. Hello there welcome back to The Legalpreneur podcast. I may sound a little stuffy today got some gunk going on. But I am still here. Alive kickin well. 


Andrea Sager  00:56

And here to bring you a new episode. I was thinking about the podcast last week because I so I don’t know if you guys know this, but I’m in an accelerator this year. And for those that don’t know, an accelerator, it’s it’s similar to a mastermind, but it’s for startups. And this I’ve already decided Friday’s episode is going to be about startups versus small businesses like what’s the difference? And basically, an accelerator is to really help a startup accelerate their business. And we’re doing the accelerator with Oracle and Oracle, NetSuite. It which is basically QuickBooks on fire. And if you really want to grow and scale a startup, NetSuite is a must have. And a lot of buyers, a lot of people that could potentially buy your business, they actually want to see you using NetSuite. So definitely knew this was the route for us when it comes to accelerators. And I was talking to the guy running it, George, and I basically told him, we were talking about the podcast, and he was like, Andrea, does that actually, like bring you a return, because you’re spending a lot of time putting out three episodes a week, in, you know, I also have the other attorney YouTube channel, it was like, George, we definitely get clients from the podcast. But it’s not just that, like, I just love the podcast, like this is something that I actually enjoy doing. So also was a creative outlet for me. And so I just wanted to bring it to your attention. If there’s something in your business that may not necessarily be bringing, like 90% of your revenue, but you still want to do it because it brings you joy, do it. 


Andrea Sager  02:39

And that’s okay. And that because I know I get some point, you’re gonna have to outsource a lot of things in your business. But if it brings you joy, do it, do it. And I am actually going to try and get George on the podcast, because he’s an interesting character. He’s really funny. But my goal is to help more small business owners realize that, hey, you could actually be growing a startup instead of a small business. And I want more people to start doing that. Because basically, there’s a big gap when it comes to funding for women versus men. And of course, like people of color, like female Latina business owners, who what I am, we get like less than half of 1% of all venture capital funding per year, less than one half of a percent, which is absolutely insane. And so I have realized for myself, I know I made the realization a couple of years ago, like I didn’t even know I could go down this route I didn’t even know. And so that’s why I told George I was like I really think a lot of is just educating women, educating people of color that hey, this is possible for you as well. 


Andrea Sager  03:44

So that’s why I want to bring him on. Hopefully, we’ll have him soon. But anyways, today’s podcast episode is about when should you file a trademark application. Now, if you’re in business, and I hopefully you’ve already listened back to many trademark episodes, you know what a trademark is, you know how it protects your business. But because it is a very lengthy process. If you’re just starting, you don’t really have the funds to file even to DIY versus working with an attorney, wherever you are in business. If you’re like, I just don’t know if I should file, I don’t know if it would be a waste. So I have a very specific answer for those people that have that question. And first and foremost, if money’s not an issue, if you can even afford to DIY or if you can afford to work with an attorney, get it done as quickly as possible. But if you’re in that position, that you’re like, I am really just testing the water. I don’t have the money to spend on this. But I mean, I could make it work if absolut possible, but I just I’m just not there. There’s a couple of things I need you to realize. Number one, the total amount of time for the trademark process right now is at least 13 months, at least 13 months in order to have that peace of mind. You want to make sure you do a search with an attorney. 


Andrea Sager  04:58

That way they can tell you Yeah, you’re good to go, you can run with the name, this is not infringement. Because otherwise, if you’re doing the search yourself, ultimately you you just don’t know. Because infringement is not just when it’s the same exact name, it’s when there’s anything similar enough. Now, when it comes to being in that place where you’re testing the water, I tell people number one, you want to get the search done as quickly as possible. Because the process the whole process, really, we have to two parts. When you go to any trademark attorney, whether you work with me or another trademark attorney, if they don’t require you to do a trademark search red flag, every reputable trademark attorney should require you to do a search because the process is so long, and you have to know what you’re going up against in the process. So when it comes to the search, you have to get that done. And even though you may just be testing the water in business, you need to get that search done as quickly as possible, because you don’t want to launch your business and start testing. And then you get the cease and desist letter. And from the beginning. 


Andrea Sager  06:01

You’re just like, oh, well, that sucks. I don’t even want to be in business because I just get sued. So that’s why you want the search to have the peace of mind and then actually filing the application. I tell people, it’s when you make that shift and you have momentum. And momentum is the answer, when you have momentum is when you want to file the trademark application. If money is an issue from the beginning, if it’s not go ahead and get it filed. So momentum is when you make that shift from Hey, I’m trying this out, try to try to make it work seeing if this is the thing. And when he go from that to oh, this is a real thing. Like I’m making real money. This isn’t just a little side hustle anymore. Like this is a real business. And I’m not there’s no question. I actually am going to keep this thing going. It’s when you make that shift. And because from then when you know, it’s a real thing, you need to have that protection. I mean, you need the protection before then. But once you know like, I’m not just testing, I’m really doing this thing, you have to have protection, or else there’s a million things that can go on listen to last week’s episode of Oh, what if somebody gets the trademark before me, and you still run that risk. But at the very least, if you’ve done the search, you know that hopefully you were in business first. So ultimately, you would have the rights to the name, but so many things can happen. So make sure as quickly as possible, you are filing the trademark. But at the very least, when you have momentum, if you want to file with an attorney, do it on your own, we have the trademark course you can go to the trademark course.com. 


Andrea Sager  07:38

Check it all out, just get the trademark done the trademark course I’m very biased, obviously I created it. So I think it’s great. And what I love about the trademark course it’s not just helping you search and file, but we also help you overcome office actions. And we set you up for licensing, which is where the passive income comes in. And when it comes to the passive income and getting the license deal, one of the most expensive pieces to that is going to be the licensing agreement, we give you a template in the trademark course that’s like at least a $1,200 value. Some attorneys will charge like $5,000 for a license agreement. So I like to make sure we’re setting up all of our listeners, everybody, every business owner that we come in contact with, I like to make sure we are setting them up for true success. And so it’s not just about hey, do your search, file the application. It’s also about Hey, make sure you can overcome any office actions what to do if shit hits the fan. What if something bad happens? We take care of all those situations in the course. And then of course, when you find an infringer how to actually turn them into a licensor and giving you a license agreement. So that’s the trademark course. You can also email me Andrea at Andrea Sager. If you just want my law firm to file a trademark for you, we can also do that. So that’s what I got for you. Don’t be scared, cover your assets and get lawyer. I’ll see you next time. Here at Legalpreneur, we’re committed to providing a supportive legal community. For all business owners. I know how scary the legal stuff can be. If you found this information helpful, I would be so grateful if you could share it with a fellow business owner. 


Andrea Sager  09:17

And quite frankly, it doesn’t cost anything to rate review or subscribe to the show. Your support helps me reach more listeners which allows me to support more business owners in their entrepreneurial journey. Have any questions or comments about the show? Feel free to drop me a line on Instagram I promise I read all of the messages and comments. And if you want to be a guest on the show or know someone that would make great guests simply fill out our application form and a team member will reach out if we think it’s a good fit. I’ll see you in the next episode