How to Effectively Protect Your Trademark
If you are a business with a registered trademark, it is important to understand that the trademark has value, both intrinsic and explicit. The trademark is a representation of your company’s brand and can help distinguish you from the competition. This is why you need to be proactive and protect your trademark.
There are specific legal rights inherent with a trademark that is registered with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Here are some strategies to consider in order to effectively protect your trademark:
1. Register Your Trademark Internationally
The protections afforded to trademark owners in the United States do not extend beyond our borders. As a result, if you want to ensure you have the strongest and broadest protection possible, it may make sense to register your trademark internationally. You may be thinking, “do I really need to spend the time and resources to register my trademark in multiple foreign countries?” Well, you should consider the fact that counterfeiting is a multi-billion dollar business in countries like China and Hong Kong. In addition, some countries (e.g., China), have laws in place that grant trademarks on a first-to-file basis. This means the first person to register the mark in that particular country will likely be granted the legal rights inherent with a registered mark. Basically, if you do not have international trademark protections, you are exposing your business to being taken advantage of by foreign counterfeiters.
If you are interested in registering your trademark internationally, the process is found in a treaty called the Madrid Protocol. It consists of 90 member countries and offers applicants the ability to complete a simple, single trademark application in one language. While the registration process is simplified, it is important to note that the Madrid Protocol does not guarantee approval of your trademark application. Each member country will conduct its own independent review of your application and make a decision on whether to approve or deny.
2. Use Your Trademark Consistently
Registering your trademark is just the beginning. You need to take steps to maintain your registered mark so you can enjoy the protections for the foreseeable future. Hence, you need to make sure you consistently use your mark in your business ventures. For example, you should consistently try to use the same words, design, and/or logo that was registered with the USPTO. Using your trademark inconsistently will weaken its protections and could come back to haunt you in a potential trademark dispute.
3. Renew Your Trademark
Consistent use of your trademark carries another inherent benefit – the fact that your trademark does not expire, as long as you continue to use the mark for the goods and/or services listed in your initial registration application. Though, it is important to note that you need to affirmatively renew your trademark. The first renewal takes place between the fifth and sixth year of use. The second renewal typically takes place around nine or ten years after your initial registration date. After that, you will need to file a renewal of your trademark every ten years to continue to protect your mark.
Have Questions? Contact an Experienced Trademark Lawyer in Los Angeles Today
If you want to learn more about how to effectively protect your trademark, take action by contacting the highly reputable trademark lawyers at Omni Legal Group. Omni Legal Group is a premier Patent, Trademark, and Copyright law firm located in Los Angeles. For further information or to schedule a consultation please contact Omni Legal Group at 855.433.2226 or visit www.OmniLegalGroup.com to learn more.