Trademarks provide protection for both businesses and consumers, making them an important part of running a successful company. This importance makes its protection absolutely necessary but many don’t know that for an effective trademark protection the work starts since the early stages.
➡️ Preliminary work – You cannot obtain a trademark registration by the USPTO, if a “likelihood of confusion" with another previously registered trademark is found. This happens when two marks are similar and they are used to protect similar goods or services. Before considering the registration of the trademar, you have to conduct a trademark search. For this, you can either hire a company or search yourself with the tools of the USPTO.
➡️ Filing the application – Once the trademark search is over and you see the path towards obtaining a registration cleared, you should think about filing the trademark application through the USPTO's Trademark Electronic Application Service (TEAS). Make sure to submit all that is required.
➡️ Response to Office Actions – The trademark applications are assigned to a USPTO examining attorneys, who will ultimately review it. If there are any legal problems found with your trademark or application, they will send an official letter called “Office action". They are very serious concerns and require adequate response within the deadline, otherwise the application will be considered as abandoned.
➡️ Monitoring – As soon as your trademark is registered, you should begin using the registered trademark symbol, ®. Remember that there is no trademark police. USPTO registers trademarks, but it does not enforce them. The protection begins with monitoring of USPTO filings and filing oppositions for all of the future applications that are similar to the one you have and can potentially infringe. Secondly, keep in mind that many times infringement happens involuntarily. If you find another company that is using a trademark similar to your registered trademark, a “cease and desist" letter may stop an infringer. If that wont't help, the federal trademark registration gives you the right to file a lawsuit for trademark infringement.
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