A trademark agent typically works to register a trademark for a business, or to represent that business in a variety of situations that may impact the protections granted by a trademark. This type of agent often works with regard to official registration of a trademark with a government agency and any legal actions that may involve that trademark following registration. In the US, a lawyer specializing in intellectual property law and trademarks may work with a company to assist with trademark registration and representation. A trademark agent will typically work with companies to provide information and assistance with registration in other countries, such as Canada and Ireland.
The work done by a trademark agent typically begins when a company wishes to officially register a particular trademark with the government of the country in which that company plans to do business. Trademarks can provide protection for a number of different intellectual property assets, and so a business will often seek trademark protection for product names and company logos. In some countries, a business will hire a trademark agent to represent the interests of the company and handle the paperwork necessary to successfully register a trademark in that country. Without the services of this type of agent, paperwork may be handled incorrectly and the trademark may not be registered properly.
A trademark agent will typically work for hire for a variety of companies, work for a large business that hires out agent services to other companies, or may be hired on full time by a company to provide services on many different trademarks. Regardless of how a trademark agent is hired, the services he or she provides are often the same. The agent will usually begin by assisting with the official registration of a trademark by performing a trademark search, filling out the necessary paperwork, and ensuring all the required materials are filed with the paperwork.
In countries such as Canada, a trademark agent is typically licensed by the government to ensure that agents are properly educated and trained to represent companies effectively. Agents must be well versed in trademark law and policies in order to best assist those companies that hire them. A trademark agent can also often assist with legal matters that may arise regarding a trademark after official registration. This can consist of advice on how to move forward with legal action or regarding a defense against infringement claims made by others, though a professional lawyer is usually hired as well.