4 Crucial Steps for an Effective Trademark Protection
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 – The USPTO won't register your trademark if there is a “likelihood of confusion" with another registered trademark. This happens when two marks are similar and they are used for similar goods or services. A comprehensive trademark search is needed before applying for federal trademark protection. 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, 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 – Your trademark application will be assigned to a USPTO examining attorney, who will review it and send you an official letter called an “Office action" if there are questions or concerns. It's important to take them seriously and respond by the specified deadline. If you miss the deadline, your application will be considered abandoned. ➡️ Monitoring – Once your trademark registration is approved, you can start using the registered trademark symbol, ®. Remember however that the USPTO registers trademarks, but it does not enforce them. One way to protect your trademark is to monitor USPTO filings and oppose any applications to register trademarks that seem similar to yours. Another is to be assertive if you learn of another company that is using a name or logo that's similar to your registered trademark. Sometimes, a simple “cease and desist" letter will stop an infringer, but, if that does not work, your federal trademark registration gives you the right to file a lawsuit in federal court.