Fiverr Forum

Unauthorized Practice of Law


#1

I just started a gig for filing trademarks and copyrights, and I looked through some of the top gigs to see what the normal pricing was. To my surprise, there are a lot of people offering services who are not licensed United States attorneys. Even filling out and filing the form is considered the unauthorized practice of law.

I understand that some of these people work with US attorneys, and I’m fine with that, but so many of them are not. I’m kind of shocked that the platform would allow so many people to do this.


#2

You don’t need to be an attorney to apply for trademark protections. And you don’t file for copyrights – those are automatically given to the creator of an artistic work.

I should point out too, it might be unwise for you to call out other people offering the same services as you. How do you know that they aren’t licensed as you claim to be? We are all independent freelancers here. As long as services are appropriate and in line with Fiverr’s TOS, the market will determine who has the most value in terms of the services we offer.


#3

You absolutely do need to be an attorney to file for trademark applications on behalf of someone else. To quote the USPTO, ["Under U.S. federal regulations, only attorneys licensed to practice law in the United States are permitted to represent you in a trademark matter before the USPTO. Foreign attorneys who are not licensed in the United States and non-attorneys cannot help you complete your application, sign documents for you, or take actions in your application for you.

The unauthorized practice of trademark law before the USPTO is a serious matter. Employing any individual who is not authorized to practice before the USPTO to represent you could result in your filing being rejected and may jeopardize the validity of any resulting registration."](https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-getting-started/why-hire-private-trademark-attorney)

While copyrights are automatically granted to the creator (with some caveats), you may file your copyright with the United States Copyright Office which makes it easier to protect.

It may be unwise to call out other people, but it is unwise to offer services for which you are not licensed. I am not saying all the other providers are not licensed (some definitely are), but many state that they are not attorneys or state that only licensed in other countries. Some show their educational background which precludes them from being licensed US attorneys.

Given that this breaks the Code of Federal Regulations and severely jeopardizes the filings of the buyers, I believe this is a ToS violation.


#4

If this is such a concern for you, why not contact Fiverr and discuss the matter with them? Surely they would be amenable to following the letter of the law.

Here on the forums, though, your complaints are generally falling on deaf ears. We are just freelancers, who sell our services here on Fiverr – no matter what those services may be. We have no control over Fiverr’s service categories, or the other sellers that are contained therein.


#5

If you think it’s a violation, report it to Support. Feel free to report it to anyone else you think might find it of interest. It’s not really a forum topic since users on the forum are not staff and do not represent the Fiverr legal department. Thanks for your concern and good luck.

Customer Support


#6