The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has registered millions of trademarks with hundreds of thousands of new applications filed each year. If you own a unique business name or brand and have not yet applied for trademark registration, you should do so as soon as possible. And if you are one of the millions of registered trademark owners in the United States, your work is not over, because you still may need to take certain actions to protect your trademark rights.
Formally registering your trademark with the USPTO confers numerous benefits. While common law provides you with some rights regarding the use of a non-registered trademark, you do not have the full protection of federal laws without official registration. Some benefits of trademark registration include:
- The ability to use the ® symbol to alert others to your registered trademark ownership
- The ability to eliminate any good faith adoption defenses infringers may try to employ, since registration places them on notice of your trademark ownership
- Presumptive ownership in geographic areas in which it is not in use
- The basis for an application for an international trademark
- The statutory presumption of the validity of a trademark, your ownership of the trademark, and your exclusive right to use the trademark
Whether a business unintentionally infringes on your trademark rights or does so for unscrupulous reasons, the ability to take full legal action to protect your trademark may prove vital to your company’s success.
To obtain the many benefits of trademark protection, you should first conduct a search of existing trademarks. After doing this due diligence, and if the trademark is clear, we then proceed with the trademark application. Our trademark lawyers assist clients with every step of the registration process so our clients have the best chance of obtaining a trademark registration.
After you register your trademark, you have not completed your work with regard to trademark protections. Trademark infringements are not always immediately obvious and infringement can quickly damage your brand.
You should engage in periodic trademark policing to identify possible infringement, and take action to stop it as soon as possible to mitigate any harm it may cause your business. This generally involves a review of trademarks used in commerce such as with a Google alert, or with a trademark watch which notifies us when trademark applications are filed that are similar to yours. This can help to:
- Identify when someone is infringing on your trademark rights
- Allow you to file a timely opposition
- Preserve the distinctiveness of your trademark
As a business owner, you may lack the time or resources to regularly survey the use of trademarks across the United States or identify a potentially harmful infringement. Instead, our legal team can assist you in recognizing potential infringement and can advise you when to take legal action to protect your registered trademark.
Protecting Your Registered Trademark
If you do learn of an infringement on your registered trademark, we suggest that you take swift action to stop the infringement and limit any harm it may cause. Your options to cease trademark infringement include:
- A Cease and Desist Letter – In some cases, a party may not realize they have infringed on a registered trademark until they receive notification. Our attorneys can contact the party with a cease and desist letter, which often results in an end to the infringement. We can negotiate with the infringing party to stop using your trademark, which they may do voluntarily to avoid any further legal action.
- Litigation – When necessary, our highly skilled litigation team is prepared to bring a lawsuit on your behalf in a trademark dispute. We know how to demonstrate infringement and prove the harm that you have endured due to the infringement. We regularly seek trademark injunctions as well as monetary damages in cases involving registered trademarks.
Contact a Trademark Law Firm
The law firm of Mandour & Associates handles all issues related to trademark registration, ownership, infringement and litigation. Time is of the essence in any trademark case, because any delay can cause preventable losses for your business. Whether you want to register a brand or stop an infringement, every day that passes can put your company’s goodwill at risk. If you need our assistance, please contact us