As athletes from all around the planet strive for gold in London, there are a few lessons we can all learn about what it means to be an “Olympian.”All across the United Sates and the world, the term “Olympics” is one of the most aggressively protected trademarks. There is a lot to learn from the way the Olympic Committee protects their mark from dilution and infringement.
Recently, the Committee was criticized for demanding a British butcher to take down his sign depicting the Olympic Rings shaped from sausages. Also, the domain owner of Ravelympics.com was made to change it to Ravelry.com. And though such zealous tactics may seem extreme to some, this type of vigilance may be necessary to ensure a mark remains in force for millennia to come. Examples of marks losing their exclusive protection and becoming generic include Thermos, Xerox, and Kleenex. These all began as exclusive trademarks which can now be used by the general public do to a lack of proper TM enforcement.
Trademarks are an investment and you should treat them as such. Although your mark may not be steeped in as much tradition and history as the time honored games, there is only one way to ensure they one day will. Protect your marks from infringers and start by registering them in the countries where you do business. This will ensure that your brand remains yours alone. You are the gold standard for what you do, so make sure other’s don’t get a free ride with the good will and reputation your efforts built.
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