Part of my responsibility as a trademark attorney is to help individuals make informed decisions. My law practice is devoted exclusively to educating people about trademarks, as well as helping them research, register, and defend their marks.
That said, I feel compelled to provide some background on a web-based company called Trademarkia. Trademarkia is very similar to LegalZoom in that it is not a law firm. Also, just like LegalZoom, Trademarkia apparently believes that people who are seeking trademark services can be properly served through a one-size-fits-all approach.
The Disturbing Truth about Trademarkia (a/k/a LegalForce)
However, my experience has shown that most people are grossly underserved – if not downright blindsided – by the kind of one-size-fits-all approach offered by Trademarkia.
Trademark clearance and protection is serious business. A trademark is one of the most valuable assets your business will ever own. You have to do everything exactly right in order to acquire and maintain trademark protection. So why would you increase the risk of delays, challenges, rejections, and potential litigation by not consulting with an experienced trademark attorney from day one?
So, before you make a decision that you will likely regret, let me fill you in on the disturbing truth about Trademarkia, including what it is and how it operates. By the way, Trademarkia is in the process of changing its name to “LegalForce.” But, for the sake of this article, I will refer to the company as Trademarkia because that is currently its most recognizable name.
What is Trademarkia?
Trademarkia is basically a search engine. According to its own website:
“Trademarkia is a US corporation that develops Internet and software technology to aid the public in search of government records.”
“Trademarkia.com is a separate software development company which creates software programming code to deliver automated search functionality using free government and non-government public data.”
Now, I have to ask you, can a search engine think? Can it ask questions that focus on and address your unique needs? Can it advise you on the proper course of action? Can it help you avoid the mistakes and pitfalls that may delay or void your trademark application?
Of course, the answers to each of these questions are all “NO.” A search engine only retrieves data based on the input you provide. If you provide imprecise or incorrect information, the search engine will provide imprecise or incorrect results. Unfortunately, this means you could be making important decisions based on completely inappropriate information, thereby wasting your hard-earned money.
Can I Reach Trademarkia by Telephone?
This time the answer is “YES,” but you will only get a customer service representative and not a licensed attorney. In fact, there are some very important warnings about speaking with a Trademarkia customer service representative (CSR) listed right on Trademarkia’s website:
“Trademarkia customer service representatives cannot answer legal questions and you should not share confidential communications with them.”
“Trademarkia customer service representatives can only answer basic questions about our search engine and direct you to public sources of information that might have answers to your questions.”
“CSRs cannot file trademark applications, nor provide any consultation or advice relating to a particular user’s trademark(s).”
So, basically, you can call Trademarkia customer service, but don’t expect too much in the way of actual customer service.
Does Trademarkia Offer Legal Advice?
The short answer is “NO.” The long answer is also “NO,” but I’ll refer you once again to Trademarkia’s own website because it says “NO” much more eloquently:
“Trademarkia is not a lawyer, law firm, legal services provider, or a legal service, is not acting as your attorney, and is not a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The information provided in this site is not legal advice.”
“No attorney-client privilege is created with Trademarkia, Inc.”
“Trademarkia, Inc. cannot provide you with ANY legal advice. You are encouraged to consult with an attorney in your local geography for legal advice.”
Well, I wholeheartedly agree with Trademarkia that you should always contact an attorney for legal advice. And I strongly encourage all individuals with trademark needs and questions to do so. But wait, things are getting even more interesting…
Who is Behind Trademarkia?
And now we get to the part of Trademarkia that is really interesting…and really confusing. On its website, Trademarkia clearly states that it is not a lawyer, a law firm, or a provider of legal services and, therefore, cannot offer any legal advice or guidance. However, as we take a step closer and peer through the misty veil of Trademarkia, we can see that there is indeed a law firm lurking in the shadows.
Again, let me share what Trademarkia posts on its website:
“I understand that the Trademarkia.com website and search engine was created by the law firm Raj Abhyanker P.C. in Mountain View, California but is a separate business from the law firm.”
“Trademarkia is a technology company who provides advertising services to attorneys and law firms who choose to advertise their services on Trademarkia websites.”
“I understand that only one law firm is invited to advertise on Trademarkia.com in each country, and that Raj Abhyanker P.C. is the exclusive advertiser on Trademarkia.com in the United States.”
“I understand that if I decide to file a trademark application in the United States, I will be represented solely by U.S. licensed attorneys at the law firm of Raj Abhyanker P.C.”
So what gives? Essentially, Trademarkia is merely a lead generation website used to solicit thousands of trademark applications for the law firm of Trademarkia’s founder Raj Abhayanker. It provides a free trademark search engine (not unlike the free search you can conduct on the Trademark Office’s own website) which is designed to lure people into applying to register their trademarks without first receiving any legal consultation, advice, or guidance as to whether filing a trademark application is even in their best interest. Pretty scary stuff if you ask me.
Here’s The Bottom Line…
When you contact my trademark law firm, you will talk to me, an experienced and knowledgeable US trademark attorney. You will not have to deal with a search engine, a customer service person, a paralegal, or even a legal secretary. When you browse through my website, you will read articles and watch videos about how I can help you achieve your goals in a professional and efficient manner.
More importantly, as your attorney, I will give you all of the legal advice and education you need to make decisions that are right for you. I will also provide you with personalized service from the moment you contact me, whether it be for conducting a trademark search, preparing your trademark application, or resolving a trademark dispute.
I’ll tell you what. Why not read for yourself what Trademarkia has to say? Just review the Terms & Conditions section of Trademarkia.com (or LegalForce.com), and if you feel confident it can help you efficiently navigate the complexities and potential pitfalls that are inherent in the trademark search and trademark registration process, then by all means go for it. Otherwise, please give me a call at (314) 749-4059 and let’s get started on the right foot.
Please click the following link to read Part 2 of my Trademarkia review: The Trademarkia Trademark Search
Please click the following link to read Part 3 of my Trademarkia review: The Trademarkia Trademark Application