Thursday, May 28, 2015

Notarizing Trademark Instead of Registration

Dear Rich: I may be interested in securing trademark rights for a blog some time in the future, but I'm reluctant to pay for a trademark registration which may prove to be unnecessary. If I got a notary to print and then notarize a screen shot from her computer, could that document be used to support a trademark application at a later time? If this is a valid approach, what are the pros and cons, and do you have any advice about what the format and content of the document should be?
We suggest you abandon your notary plans. First,  a U.S. notary won't notarize a screen shot; notaries identify and screen people who sign important documents. Even if you prepare a document containing the trademark image and a statement about how you created it and you sign it, you'll still be wasting your money. Trademark rights are acquired by being the first to use the mark in commerce, not by being the first to create the mark. In any case, the USPTO makes you sign an oath as to the accuracy of the information in the application.