Daniel Becker, Patent Attorney and Early-stage Engineering (2013-present)
No, It is not necessary to hire a lawyer when applying for a trademark, but it’s a very good idea. In most cases, I find that the filing itself is less the issue than it is making the decisions about what makes sense to trademark, and whether or not decisions are being made that are not well-considered, in terms of enforceability.
Some examples are: (apologies for the run-on sentence) Generic, self- descriptive marks, or ones which accurately but inherently represent the field of goods or services, or ones which tread too closely to popular language or imagery associated with the field of goods or services, or ones which are in related fields, or which are so well known that they can create problems, even if there is some reason why people may not actually be confused as to the source of goods.
And that’s really just a very small list.
If you’re savvy, then you can save some money by going without an attorney. But if there are ambiguities that you aren’t aware of, you run risks of complications that would defeat your bargain. Obtaining a trademark does require dealing with objections from the USPTO, and overcoming those issues can be surprising. You could hire an attorney at that point, but it’s quite likely that you could have avoided many (if not all) of those complications by just going to an attorney in the first place.
I am an intellectual property and patent attorney, and I do trademark filings. If you’d like to learn more, you can check out my personal website at Beckerpatent.com or you can go to my firm’s website: Olive Law Group
I don’t know whether Quora frowns on posting telephone numbers or direct email addresses here, but I’m sure you could just contact me, or I could give it to you here, if you do ask for it.