* FreeTrademarksForStartups.com: Free Trademarks For Startups

The best time for entrepreneurs to start a new business is during a recession.

Please note that the FreeTradeMarksForStartups.com promotion ended on 06/30/09, but like all pages on this blog, I leave this blog post here for posterity.


Since Barack Obama’s election, I have been inspired and motivated to figure out something that I can do to help our struggling economy. Most of my clients are startups. Most new jobs in this country are generated by startups. Getting off on the right foot is key. At Clock Tower Law Group, we believe that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And it is much less expensive to choose good trademarks (for your company and products) initially than it is to change them after the fact.

So here’s my offer. If you’re a startup, I’ll file your first trademark for free.

Is there fine print? Of course. Here are the details. In order to qualify for this offer:

  1. You must be a startup. This term is loosely defined, so this should be an easy requirement to meet.
  2. You must be a company. That means that you must be organized in some state in a way that I can verify via the web, for example via the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s corporations database or Delaware Secretary of State’s corporations database. Or whatever state your company is organized in. Trademark law is federal law, so you and the firm don’t have to be located in the same state. As such, our clients are located all over the country (and the world).
  3. You must have at least one registered domain name, and your domain name must be registered in the name of your company. We recommend that companies register their company name, product names, and trademarks as domain names in all of the generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) (including .com, .net, .org, .biz, .info, and .us). You should also register domain typos, including singular and plural variations. Registering multiple domains is cheap insurance to protect against possible infringing use. Also, we recommend registering domains in the name of your company using the exact same contact information for each domain.
  4. You must contact me electronically. Preferably via Twitter (@ErikJHeels) direct message. You can also email me; my email address is easy to find.
  5. You must hire my firm, Clock Tower Law Group, by using our proposal letter. Future payments must be made by credit card.

To be specific, the value of this offer is $1500 per company. The $1500 covers everything from hiring to filing, including the trademark search, USPTO filing fee for one class, application drafting, and application filing. It does not cover any costs after the filing (such as responding to office actions and the like). Most of our trademarks issue without major problems because we work hard to get them right initially. Clock Tower Law Group’s fees are fully disclosed on our website. As is our list of cool clients.

Why I am doing this? Based on a survey that my firm conducted, each company has, on average, four unregistered trademarks. So I’m counting on your future business, as well as your referrals. I’m being straight with you. I’ll trust you to be fair with us.

I reserve the right to cancel this offer at any time (unless, of course, the Federal Reserve offers me a bailout package I can’t refuse). If this offer is wildly successful, then I might not be able to keep up with the demand. But I supposed that would be a good problem to have. If I have to cancel or modify this offer, I will do so via comment to this blog post. You can find this post at:


I launched my law firm the week of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It was very quiet in my office in the fall of 2001 and the spring of 2002. Two years later, I was featured in a cover story in the ABA Journal on lawyers as risk-takers. The advice I give to startups is this: get plants. Because some days you are going to need a reason to go to the office. Most startups fail. But those that succeed are the ones that persevere through the tough times. As my mentor once said, success is not so much a matter of being at the right place at the right time as it is a matter of being. Just keep plugging. Go to the office. Water the plants. Grow your business.

And spread the word. Yes we can.

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