After successfully taking the first step on the important path of protecting your brand by completing the trademark registration a lot still needs to be done. You heard it right, even after such a tedious application process one has gone through, there’s still more work to be accomplished. There are multiple crucial things to remember in order to properly use, maintain and protect the registered trademark.
Protecting and defending the registered trademark is an active and ongoing pursuit – but it is important to do so to ensure that the mark retains all its value of efforts and hard work put to establish it.
Regular maintenance filings are important because canceled/abandoned trademarks get removed from the registry so that other people/businesses can use them.
Remember Trademark Registration Renewal Dates
Trademark protection is established on active use of the distinctive mark and that remains true even after the successful trademark registration. All the federal trademark registration require timely renewals for the legal rights to be intact and to keep the mark still alive and viable. Most of the Intellectual Property Offices do not remind the owners of the renewal date. So the responsibility of renewal is of the applicant only.
Use the correct Trademark symbols
Use the ® symbol. Although this isn’t required legally, it is advisable to remove the ™ / ℠ after trademark registration and start using the ® symbol on all the goods and services registered in partnership with the mark. The ® symbol puts the public on notice that the mark is registered with the Intellectual Property Office leading to trademark protection. The ® symbol can only be used while the registration is alive.
Here are a few areas of the many which need to enact proper use of the ® symbol :
- Product packaging or label
- Marketing and advertising art and copy
- Website and other online presences
Monitor new Trademark Registration filings
Be sure that the Intellectual Property Office does not weaken the mark by approving registrations that are too similar to that of yours. A registered trademark owner is entitled to formally oppose any new trademark that could potentially infringe theirs in a league of trademark protection. New trademarks are announced on the Gazzetta periodically. Stay aware of the ways in which the protection of the registered trademark may change, and take all the actions available and prevent that from happening.
Monitor the Marketplace
Trademark rights begin accruing based on use and not on registration. Therefore it is necessary to go beyond and keep a check in the marketplace if anyone is illicitly using the registered mark or one similar to it. If the owner doesn’t enforce the mark actively and promptly, the infringement party may be able to make a claim that their mark has strengthened enough to be legitimate and recognizable on its own – or even challenge it on the grounds of non-use or non-enforcement.
Expand Trademark Coverage when necessary
The earlier a trademark is registered, the better. But there are chances that now the business product or service is different than the one for which the application was filed. Below are the few typical examples enlisted and how to go about them:
- Expansion into new industries (file additional trademarks covering each new class of goods or services)
- New logos or branding (update your trademark specimen to show how it now identifies your company)
- New packaging or labeling (update your specimen to illustrate the new use of your mark)
Take the Right Action at the Right Moment
A cease-and-desist or other threatening type of letter can open a legal can of worms. One needs to be completely sure of their rights of enforcement and that they don’t say anything that could backfire. Legal assistance in such situations can keep both, the owner and their mark protected and will often resolve things efficiently.
TrademarkCart is one such platform to provide a hassle free services to you even after your successful trademark registration.