Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

Is It a Bad Idea to File a Trademark Through LegalZoom Instead of Our Expensive Silicon Valley Law Firm?

Great question! There’s an entire range of options available to you between making this a DIY (do-it-yourself) project on one side of the spectrum and using a high-powered law firm that could be overkill for your project (and budget!) on the other side. *Spoiler alert* LawTrades falls in the middle :) Protecting your trademark is crucial to your business. Not only is it a valuable property asset, but it’s also your brand - which is your reputation. Since filing trademarks is highly technical, it’s easy to make a mistake when DIY-ing this, so I would caution against those options. Small mistakes - especially with filing trademarks and patents - often result in big consequences.

Without criticizing LegalZoom or any similar service, I would advise you to take a look at the disclaimers on the DIY sites since there are some pretty significant caveat emptors that will quickly reveal their limitations. What you need to know is that the risk of using DIY legal form is that they’re standardized, while each company’s circumstances are like a unique set of fingerprints.

Complex transactions such as trademarks - and intellectual property in general - by their very nature don’t lend themselves well to fitting neatly within the four corners of boilerplate legal documents. Furthermore, law and regulations are fluid; their constant change means that you could miss some vital updates that result in a faulty or incomplete application.

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