Your business depends on protecting your assets and intellectual property. That’s why businesses employ trademarks to help create a brand. This brand clearly marks your business and will become synonymous with your services, products, and reputation. When someone takes advantage of your creative work and abuses your trademark, it can have disastrous consequences. As such, it is important to monitor and protect your trademarks.
As soon as you begin using creative works to make your brand unique, you build common law trademark protection. Yet, this offers limited security for your intellectual property. To fully safeguard your work, it is important to register your trademarks with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USTPO). Here is a guide of the essential steps you need to take to protect your trademark.
5 Steps to Trademark Protection
When it comes to protecting your trademark, you need a solid plan. This plan should consider safeguards before you register your trademark, as well as at every stage after. Successful trademark protection starts with effective research. It then continues with routine and effective monitoring.
You cannot register your trademark if it is too similar to another registered trademark. As such, you need to research other trademarks that may conflict with your own. To reduce the chances of application rejection, you need to conduct a thorough trademark search. This search should include trademarks registered with federal and state governments. It should also include trademarks that have common law protection.
Prepare and File Your Trademark Application
Once you determine that your trademark does not conflict with another trademark, you can file the application. You need to provide a picture of your trademark and an example of how you use this trademark in your business. You also must show how you intend to use this trademark for goods or services. This is important because you only have trademark protection for the type of goods or services listed in your application.
Respond to Actions
A USPTO examining attorney will then evaluate your trademark application and send you a letter of action. This letter will list any questions or concerns the attorney has about approving your trademark. Respond to the “Office action” letter promptly. You must address all the attorney’s concerns before they will approve your application.
Monitor Your Trademark
Once the attorney approves your trademark registration, it is important to watch your trademark closely. Efficient trademark monitoring can alert you to infringement. An example of this is when other applications register trademarks that seem similar to your own. When another company infringes on your intellectual property, you may need to get aggressive. Sending a “cease and desist” letter could help. In some cases, you may have to file a lawsuit in federal court.
Maintain Your Trademark
Trademark registrations will last for ten years. They are renewable every ten years, provided you file maintenance documents between the fifth and sixth years. You must also file maintenance documents between the ninth and tenth years and every ten years after that. If you miss a maintenance deadline, you will lose your trademark registration.
Contact a Redwood City Intellectual Property Attorney Today
Your business and your livelihood depend on protecting your intellectual property. If you wish to protect your trademark, we can help. It is important to speak to our experienced Redwood City intellectual property attorney immediately. He can help you throughout the trademark registration process and ensure that you do not miss any critical deadlines.
To learn more, contact our Redwood City intellectual property attorney at Winghart Law Group, Inc. today at (650) 332-2994 or fill out our confidential contact form. We’ve been serving Palo Alto, Redwood City, and Bay Area businesses for years. Call us today!