If you’re searching for help with your trademarks, you have likely come across LegalZoom. They are a large company, but not a law firm. Despite the fact that they are not a law firm, they still provide quasi-legal services. The reviews for LegalZoom and their trademark services have been less than stellar. While LegalZoom (in some cases) offers low price services, you get what you pay for (i.e. legal services which are not provided by an attorney). Of course, you may be asking yourself whether an attorney is really necessary for this type of work. Let LegalZoom answer that question for you: LegalZoom does not handle its own trademark applications and registrations at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). Instead, it has hired an attorney that works for an outside firm. Maybe you should consider LegalZoom alternatives, as well.
LegalZoom’s Trademark Portfolio
At the time I write this, all of LegalZoom’s active registrations and pending applications at the USPTO are handled by an attorney for an outside firm. This is a considerable and robust trademark portfolio. Here is a list of some of the marks that are currently registered/pending for LegalZoom:
- LEGAL ZOOM
- LEGALZOOM HIREWALL
- LEGALZOOM LIFEPLAN
- WHERE LIFE MEETS LEGAL
- LEGALZOOM WHERE LIFE MEETS LEGAL
- LZ TAX
The USPTO records show that LegalZoom’s trademark filings are currently managed by a large law firm in my hometown of St. Louis. If LegalZoom is such a great service for trademark registration, why would need outside help? Their business model is built on the premise that you can register your trademark without an attorney. But their actions say something entirely different.
LegalZoom’s markets its services based on having low prices for their services, since they bypass attorneys altogether. But what is the value of those services if you cannot talk with an attorney or receive legal advice regarding your filings? LegalZoom is a document preparation service that does not provide you with anything you cannot do yourself. You can file your own trademark application using the USPTO site without an attorney (if you are located in the U.S.).
The fact that LegalZoom does not use its own services says a lot. This tells us that if it’s an important legal matter (as trademarks are), you should have an attorney handling it. You should research LegalZoom alternatives, rather than use this company simply because it is cheaper or has a recognizable name.
Of course, the best LegalZoom alternative is going to be a trademark attorney, as evidenced by its own actions. Hiring an experienced trademark attorney significantly increases your chances of successfully registering your trademark. Attorneys specializing in trademark law can provide you with actual legal advice. They can assist with developing a strategy for protecting your valuable intellectual property. LegalZoom cannot do this because they are not a law firm.
Your other potential LegalZoom alternatives are to file your own application or hire another document preparation service (e.g. Trademarkia, Trademark Engine). Of course, these options are also flawed. In my opinion, filing your own trademark application makes more sense than hiring one of these companies. That is because companies like LegalZoom just take the information you give them and put it directly into forms on the USPTO website. Overall, the best LegalZoom alternative is to just hire a trademark attorney, like they did.
Feeling Uneasy About Using LegalZoom Trademark Services?
I understand that LegalZoom appeals to small business owners because they are marketed as inexpensive and efficient alternatives to hiring an attorney. But they are not substitutes for legal representation. I provide legal services for my clients at reasonable flat-fee rates. If you would like to speak with me about your trademark matter, please call me at (480) 360-3499, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or complete the contact form found on this page to schedule your free initial consultation today. I look forward to speaking with you.