• Russell Kinsey

Debunking LegalZoom for Trademark Registration

As a transactional attorney, my clients frequently compare my services to those offered by LegalZoom. When one client was considering LegalZoom for a Trademark application, I did a cost analysis and found out that their low cost is actually a myth for this service because they don't tell you what isn't included.

LegalZoom advertizes its trademark registration service for $169 plus the USPTO filing fee of $275. Sounds good right?

What they don't tell you is that filing a trademark application is both a highly technical and time intensive process that you really want to do right the first time or you could be waiting years to get a registered mark. Most trademark attorneys will do a tradmark search before filing an application in oreder to determine if any potential conflicts exist that need to be considered in how and if you file an applicaiton for your chosen mark. Legal Zoom charges you an additional $300 for a comprehensive search, so tack that on to the cost plus your time to review the results because they just dump a bunch of info on you that may or may not be relevant.

Then, and this is the biggest omission, they fail to tell you that most trademark applications will require some sort of response to the USPTO examiner that isn't included in their "registration" fee. This is a service they don't provide because it can't be automated and requires an actual person, aka an attorney. Now you have to go and hire an attorney who will charge you $500 to $2000 to handle your response. So tack that on to your cost. Not to mention that you may have to file multiple responses.

So for a complete trademark registration you are looking at $1,244 plus your time to go the LegalZoom route. Not so good. A professional tradmark attorney will likely charge you the same price to complete the entire process for you saving you time, ensuring your business is protected, and giving you the peace of mind that the process will be handeled correctly the first time. The choice is yours.