An Entrepreneurs Guide to Trademarks
Explanation of trademarks, how they protect your business, and the process for obtaining them and keeping them.full course
- An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Trademarks Part One: What is a Trademark?
- An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Trademarks Part Two: Types of Trademarks
- An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Trademarks Part Three: 10 Ways Registering a Trademark Protects You
- An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Trademarks Part Four: Do I Need A Trademark Lawyer?
- An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Trademarks Part Five: The Application Process
- An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Trademarks Part Six: Maintaining Your Trademarks
Well, not quite. There is some upkeep you need to be aware of to ensure that you maintain trademark registration. If you don’t, someone might snap it up and you’ll be unable to protect yourself.
What to do?
First, to maintain your trademark registration, you must file specific maintenance documents. Failure to do so will result in cancellation of the registration. The registration can also expire if you do not file a renewal. If you registration is voided in any way, you must file a brand new application and start all over. This is the only way you can try and revive protection for your trademark. Moreover, just because you received registration previously, does not mean that you will receive approval the second time.
Second, you want to make sure that you are checking your trademark registration every so often on the USPTO Search System (TSDR) to ensure that your mark has not lapsed. Sometimes notices get lost in the mail or email so it is always important to do a quarterly check on your intellectual property registrations to ensure that they are still adequately protected.
Third, and this is extremely important, you MUST update your correspondence address, owner address and email address with the USTPO immediately of any changes in this information. If both the ownership and correspondence address are to the same address, you must update both. The USPTO uses this information to send vital information about your registration and your rights. Failure to update this information is not an excuse you can use to save yourself from a cancelled or lapsed registration. Thus, keep all this information up to date to make sure that you are informed on your rights at all times.
Finally, it is up to you to protect your rights. A trademark is only good if you police it and not allow other people to infringe.
Think of trademarks as like a house. If you let other people squat in your house and you do not evict them, then they end up having rights to your house. If you let a squatter go long enough, they can claim ownership of your house!
Trademarks are the same. If someone infringes (even if you do not know about it) and it goes long enough, you lose your trademark protections. So you must monitor your mark!
Registration is not the end of the process. As the registration holder, it is up to you to ensure that no other parties are infringing on your rights by using similar or identical marks, counterfeiting your goods, etc. The USPTO is not involved in ensuring that your registration is not infringed upon, they merely ensure that you have met registration standards. This will mean that you must keep up to date with your market, search your mark on the internet, and keep a general eye on the lookout for anything that might harm your trademark.
Ultimately you are your own best brand ambassador.
As part of our Plus and Pro Trademark Packages, Bellatrix PC protects our clients with trademark monitoring, trademark enforcement, and keeping track of renewals. That’s one of our many ways we give our valued clients Peace of Mind .
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