Monitoring For Infringing Trademarks

Congratulations!  You have come a long way in the trademark process.  You chose the right mark and are building a brand around it.  You have applied for and registered your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and you are now entitled to a host of BENEFITS.  Your trademark is more than a few words or a logo; it represents everything your company stands for.  When a consumer sees your mark, it triggers thoughts about your mission statement, the quality of goods and/or services you provide, and the overall experience of dealing with your brand.  A strong trademark is at the heart of any successful company.

Automatic Protection upon Registration and the Official Gazette

Registering with the USPTO is the baseline for protecting your trademark.  The USPTO will not allow the registration of other marks that are confusingly similar either because of the similarity of the sight and sound of marks, and/or the similarity of the streams of commerce that they are associated with.  In addition, a competing business owner who sees this conflict will stray from using something close to your mark when they choose their own trademark. 

However, a mark may fall through the cracks of the USPTO application process and still be registered even though it is confusingly similar to your mark.  One way of making sure this does not happen is to monitor the Official Gazette.  When a trademark examiner decides that an applied mark should be registered, it is published in the Official Gazette for 30 days.  This period of limbo allows those who monitor the Gazette to oppose the applied for mark’s registration if they feel it infringes on their own mark.  Monitoring the Official Gazette is a way to proactively protect your mark to ensure that competing marks do not get registered with the USPTO.

Internet Searches

Searching for competing marks through popular internet search engines is another simple protection mechanism for detecting potential infringers.  Regularly searching your trademark’s name can alert you to new competitors in the marketplace that may be stepping on your toes.  It is another way to proactively protect your mark, but it does require a lot of human time, it can be tedious and there is potential for error.  

Professional Services

The simple truth is that properly monitoring the Official Gazette, the entire internet, and other databases can be extremely time consuming.  Your business keeps you busy, and you do not have enough time to actively police your trademark.  Perhaps you do not feel comfortable that your searches are thorough enough.  Maybe your time is more valuable if spent on other endeavors.  Whatever the case, using a professional service to police your mark may be the right option to effectively monitor your mark with ease.  

There are professional services that provide an array of policing services by monitoring a host of databases to ensure that your mark is not being infringed upon.  They combine using specifically created computer programs with humans who will monitor your trademark for you.

To find the right monitoring service for your needs, call the Bend Law Group, PC at 650-271-9395.