Monetizing Alt Legal’s §2(d) Trademark Watch+ Tips to Help you Build More Business
Alt Legal Team | March 10, 2022
Once you’ve successfully registered your client’s trademark, many clients think your work is done. Of course, many engagement letters identify the point of registration as the end of the engagement. But trademark professionals know that it’s not enough to rely on registration alone to protect a brand. It’s critical to continue to monitor your clients’ registered trademarks to ensure nobody is infringing on their marks. Enforcing your clients’ trademarks helps protect their brands and all the goodwill they’ve worked so hard to establish.
Unfortunately, the market for trademark watch services has very much been all-or-nothing given the cost of trademark monitoring services. Either clients choose to invest in monitoring their marks, or they don’t. This has been a common point of frustration among clients and law firms alike.
Fortunately, alternatives to traditional trademark watch services have emerged. Alt Legal’s §2(d) Trademark Watch is one such alternative that offers low-cost, blanket monitoring over your entire USPTO trademark portfolio. Your clients benefit because their marks are monitored. You benefit from opportunities to reach out to clients about potential infringement, offer additional legal services to protect the trademark, and overall, build your relationship with clients long after a trademark has been registered.
Over 800 organizations are already using and trusting Alt Legal’s §2(d) Trademark Watch as an alternative approach to trademark monitoring. We’re also proud to share that with our acquisition of Towergate Informatics’ §2(d) Citation Watch business in February 2022, we became the leading provider of §2(d) trademark monitoring.
How does Alt Legal’s §2(d) Trademark Watch work?
Most traditional monitoring services watch either newly-filed applications, newly-published applications, or newly-registered marks. You pay per mark that you’re watching and costs escalate quickly based on your watch criteria. Alt Legal’s §2(d) Trademark Watch works by monitoring all of the marks in your docket and notifying you whenever any of your marks are cited in an office action, refusing the applied-for mark based on §2(d) likelihood of confusion with your client’s mark. You receive notice with plenty of time to prepare an opposition strategy and the trademark examiner has already done the work for you of identifying a confusingly similar mark. Learn more about how Alt Legal’s §2(d) Trademark Watch works.
How much does Alt Legal’s §2(d) Trademark Watch cost?
As with our docketing, we make pricing for our §2(d) Trademark Watch service simple and straightforward – there are no hidden fees. If you’re an Alt Legal docketing customer on our current subscription plans, §2(d) Trademark Watch is included with your subscription. If you aren’t already getting notifications, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll turn the service on for you and help you get started.
If you docket your marks with another company and you just want to purchase §2(d) Trademark Watch separately, pricing is simply based on the number of marks that you’re watching. To give you an idea of our pricing, if you’re docketing 200 marks with Alt Legal, you also get §2(d) Trademark Watch monitoring on all 200 marks for $185/mo. Other watch services charge upwards of $375 per mark per year to monitor just newly-published marks for a single mark. That means if you were to monitor 200 marks with a service like this, you’d be paying $75,000/year for monitoring. It’s just not feasible to have this level of monitoring on all your marks – so having a blanket coverage like §2(d) Trademark Watch which is a fraction of the price, you’re much better off.
|Trademark Monitoring Service||Pricing||Annual Fee for 200 Marks|
|Corsearch US Federal Watch (applications or Gazette only)||$375 per mark/annually||$75,000|
|Alt Legal’s §2(d) Trademark Watch||$185 for 200 marks/monthly||$2,200|
How can I monetize Alt Legal’s §2(d) Trademark Watch and bring in more business?
Many attorneys find that you can simply package a monitoring service to clients using Alt Legal’s §2(d) Trademark Watch in a way that provides your clients with a significant benefit while allowing you to make back what you’ve spent on the watch service plus some. For example, you could consider offering §2(d) Trademark Watch services to your clients at a low subscription fee or simple flat fee that includes the cost of the watch service and the value of your time you’d spend monitoring and updating clients on the mark. You could readily charge around $50 annually for each client or each mark in their portfolio, depending on the risk level you’ve assessed with their mark and the amount of time you reasonably expect to spend reviewing citations.
Offering §2(d) Trademark Watch services truly benefits both you and the client – not only are you offering blanket, cheap insurance for your clients that you’ll catch many instances of infringement before the USPTO, but you’ll be able to recoup the cost of the service PLUS you’ll likely get new business opportunities from this offering.
Of course, you could arrange this sort of monitoring service flat or subscription fee structure with other traditional watch services, but they’ll be more expensive for your client because of the cost of the service and because of the time it will take you to review. The real value add here is that Alt Legal’s §2(d) Trademark Watch is such a simple type of watch service and so cost effective for both you and the client.
What kinds of services can I offer if I discover potential infringement using Alt Legal’s §2(d) Trademark Watch?
Every situation calls for a different response, but the toolkit for responding to infringement includes several complex, high-level legal tasks that will bring in a good amount of billable work. You can first offer to conduct some research into the potentially infringing mark and the applicant as you develop an opposition strategy. All of this work is billable. In terms of proposing an opposition strategy, you may consider offering any of the following services, or combination thereof, as they are not mutually exclusive:
- File a Letter of Protest
- Send a Cease & Desist letter
- File a Notice of Opposition (if the mark proceeds to publication)
- File a suit in federal court
- File additional trademarks, file in additional classes of goods/services, and/or file trademarks in other jurisdictions
All of these enforcement services require substantial time on your part to complete. Whichever service(s) your client ultimately chooses, you’ll be bringing more work to your firm and building your relationship with your client during the course of your work to complete the service. The more you work with a client, the hope is that you will earn their trust to take on even more business and earn future referrals.
For more on developing opposition strategies and generating business development opportunities, see our article, How to Use Alt Legal’s Section 2(d) Trademark Watch Service to Generate New Business and Impress Your Clients. Also, check out our webinar, 2(D)iscover Potential Infringement: Using Alt Legal’s §2(d) Watch Effectively.