31 Aug 2020
Back in the days, registering a trademark was – for the outside world at least – a complicated matter. It required filling in paper forms and filing them at bureaucratic trademark authorities. This required specialist attorneys, guiding clients through the rough trademark seas.
Obviously, things have changed. Filing a trademark has become easier by the year. Trademark authorities have adopted a more trademark owner driven approach, providing clear information on their websites. Moreover, many authorities implemented online filing of trademarks. With clear forms, taking trademark filers by the hand where necessary. And with success: before the EUIPO – for example – 99.8% of all direct trademark filings in 2019 came in online.
It is no surprise that the number of companies and individuals filing trademarks without representation is considerable. In the Benelux, almost 41% of all trademarks were filed without representation. Before the EUIPO, the number of DIY filers increased with 35% from 2010-2017.
This DIY mentality of trademark holders can nowadays also be practised with availability searches. Easy-to-use trademark registries, often organized by national trademark authorities, such as TMView, enable DIY users to perform basic availability checks themselves, for free. Albeit not for free, providers of more sophisticated clearance search systems are now also aiming for trademark holders as a client, rather than for law and trademark firms alone.
However, there are times that even the most assertive DIY trademark holder needs professional legal assistance. For example, when confronted with a foreign trademark filing, office action, opposition or infringement, a trademark holder may want or need local representation. Considering that a DIY user files his trademark without representation, he or she has is not a client with a firm in its home country and can thus not use the agent network of law firms. And searching for a suitable foreign firm online can be a hassle. Wouldn’t it be great if there is a platform of international trademark and law firms, where DIY users can browse, compare and select a firm suited to their needs? Based on honest criteria, rather than just reciprocity or sheer firm size?
That is exactly what TMPassport is building. TMPassport is aimed to allow clients to find a suitable firm, using honest and transparent criteria, such as pricing and client rating. Let clients find and select you and your firm. Based on your quality, your expertise, your rates. Transparent and cost efficient: or the client and for you. Have a look at www.tmpassport.com and become an early adaptor in your country.