How much is the cost of registering a trademark...not just the USPTO fee, but any attorney fees, or other expenses incurred? I understand this is most likely variable, but a range estimation would be great.
Also, I realize this question might not be too popular around here, but any unbiased answers would be great...could utilizing a service like "Legal Zoom" to register a trademark be a good way to take care of it...or is it better to have an attorney?
The answer, of course,is it depends. The USPTO fee is $275 to $325 for each mark in each class. In our firm, we charge a flat fee to register the mark, and charge additionally if the USPTO pushes back and requires a great deal of additional time. We charge a modest additional fee for registering additional marks at the same time, since there is an economy of scale in the time needed.
I can tell you that in our area the large firms charge on the order of $2500 for a single mark, I am told. Our firm's fees are a modest fraction of that cost, and I am sure there are firms higher and lower than we are.
I am not a big fan of Legal Zoom only because it is "one size fits all" and in law that is rarely the case. I cannot judge their service, but there really is something to the adage that you get what you pay for. I agree that some legal fees are over the top, and our firm's niche is to provide high quality service (we are alumni of large firms) at reasonable cost. But in my view in the long run when it comes to anything related to your business, you are best served by having a lawyer who will work with you to get the job done.
The filing fee is $325 and a typlical attorney fee here in Los Angeles is between $500 - $1000. For that, you don't just get someone to push a button, you get someone to speak with. Depanding on the firm it is a great value. I think there is no comparison between a live attorney who can size up the situation and answer questons you dont know to ask and LegalZoom. If you have further questsions I can be contact through my Avvo profile. We do business law for small and medium size companies including start-ups in addition to IP (trademark) law.
The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.
Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
I have been contacted by clients using web based firms with nothing but horror stories. As Mr, Doland's fee seems quite reasonable and he is relatively close to you, I would suggest contacting him. You will save yourself quite a few headaches based on anecdotal evidence.