I am a big believer in a person having agency over their own life and decisions: that nearly anyone can do anything if they put their mind to it. So, you do not need me to conduct a clearance search for you. You do not need me to file your trade-mark application. You do not need me to defend your trade-mark opposition. You can do it all by yourself. DIY Trade-marks.

With a sales pitch like that, one would think I am marketing myself out of job. But the truth is the HOWs of this job are fairly straight-forward. With enough time I could train any computer literate person HOW to file a trade-mark application.

But trade-mark professionals are not paid for the HOW. They are paid for the WHY. The HOW is a given.

Anyone can quickly learn the HOW. Watch a plumber fix your sink, a mechanic replace your car battery, or a chef cook a meal and you will know the HOWs. But mimicking those actions will not necessarily tell you the WHYs. And the WHYs are what separate the amateurs from the professionals.

Everything flows from WHY. Why was a trade-mark regime setup in the first place? Why was it structured the way it is? Why are some innocuous actions fatal to trade-mark rights and others not? The person who knows WHY will always have an advantage over the person who only knows the HOW. Because HOW can only repeat and mimic an action. HOW cannot judge its appropriateness or evaluate the decision to act in the first place. Only WHY can.

And WHY takes time. A lot of time. One cannot instantly absorb 400 years of trade-mark precedents, multiple and lengthy international treaties, and the interpretations of those precedents and treaties over a weekend.

Just like being your own plumber, DIY Trade-marks is perfectly reasonable…until it is not. When DIY turns into DIWhy, that is usually when your metaphorical basement floods. A flood which could have probably been prevented, if you had hired a professional in the first place.

Frankly, you have better things to do with your time. You have a business to market. Employees to manage. Goods and services to develop and provide. Is it really an efficient use of your valuable time to familiarize yourself with the all intricacies of trade-mark law? That is a job in and of itself. I should know.