Trademarks give identity to a business and make its goods and services recognizable for customers. As such, they are valuable assets for companies and should be protected in the best possible way. Registering a trademark enables you to take legal action in case of trademark violations but it is still far from providing sufficient protection.
This article shows you how to choose a protection solution for your registered online trademarks. We talk about what the registration of a trademark protects and what it doesn’t. We give you the main factors to consider when looking for a trademark protection solution.
In case you ask yourself if registration of your trademarks is necessary, the short answer is yes. Unregistered trademarks only offer limited legal protection for claims of false designation of origin and false advertising, however only within the geographic areas where your business operates. This can quickly become insufficient when small businesses grow big and expand their radius of operation through online sales.
According to the online legal information retrieval Justia, the advantages of registering your trademark include the right to file a lawsuit against an infringer in federal court, incontestable status after five years of registration, the presumption of ownership, enhanced remedies, and constructive notice of ownership to others on a national level.
Registration of trademarks is an essential first step towards protection for online brands. It will ensure you can claim your trademark rights when unauthorized parties use your trademark. Yet it doesn’t fully prevent infringers from stealing your trademark. Trademark infringement occurs when the usage of a brands’ identifying features like words, phrases, logos, color schemes, and alike, cause confusion among consumers about the origin of goods and services.
Trademarks can also be infringed on domain names or used maliciously on other products in order to confuse consumers.
A well-covered trademark infringement case between the famous luxury fashion brand Louis Vuitton and a Korean chicken restaurant illustrates that even established brands aren’t immune against trademark infringements. The South Korean fried chicken restaurant named itself “Louis Vuiton Dak” and lost a dispute with the fashion designer after a court ruled that the restaurant not only infringed the name but also Louis Vuitton’s logo. After getting fined, the restaurant changed its name to “Louisvui tondak” and got an even larger fine of 14.5 million Won (about $125,000 USD).
If you have seen an infringement of your trademark online and your product is popular among consumers, chances are high that infringers are using your trademark on several online marketplaces and social media platforms. It’s also very likely that they are stealing your trademark to promote and sell counterfeit products online.
Actively monitoring your trademark will help you to keep track of unauthorized sellers using your existing trademark across marketplaces. While some early-stage companies can handle the monitoring of one or a few trademarks, companies with larger IP portfolios might want to consider using online trademark protection to tackle the problem more efficiently and at a cheaper cost.
To go more into detail about what to look out for when choosing an online trademark protection solution, here are a few metrics and features you should consider:
A good way to start the selection process is by clarifying what an online trademark protection solution needs to comprise for your business. Maybe you already have a trademark monitoring system to detect infringements. However, if you want to protect your registered online trademark efficiently, your trademark protection should also include the takedown of infringements, data insights and other perks like the prioritization of incidents and self-improving systems through machine learning.
Some companies decide to work with attorneys that can help enforce trademarks. Before hiring a lawyer, you should keep in mind that costs for legal advice can add up quickly as you might be charged by working hours. Especially if you have a large IP portfolio and you need to protect multiple trademarks, the fees can be significant. Moreover, attorneys usually can’t detect and enforce trademark infringements on the same scale and scope as technology-based solutions can.
A great alternative is to hire a brand protection company like Red Points to protect trademarks with technology. The advantage of pure-play brand protection companies is that they bundle the expertise of online registered trademark protection and can quickly safeguard your IP all-embracing.
When you choose online trademark protection, the idea is to take the strain of monitoring and enforcement off your shoulders. The best way to do so is by applying software that does the job for you.
At Red Points, the sophisticated trademark monitoring software is an all-in-one solution that covers trademark infringement monitoring, detection and removal. The system is equipped with machine learning algorithms that constantly scan new listings and check if they contain trademark violations. Incidents are prioritized by risk level to focus on the most urgent cases. Platforms are contacted automatically to remove infringing listings. The software runs around the clock to protect your registered trademarks online, which is impossible to do manually.
If you work for a multinational company that has registered trademarks in different countries to safeguard the IP portfolio, your trademark protection service needs to be able to do that as well. Services like Red Points protect your trademarks across marketplaces, countries and languages. They can also tackle different types of incidents, like counterfeits, fake websites, social media imposters, or fake apps.
Protecting your online registered trademarks is as important as it is challenging when doing it manually. The better and more efficient solution is to work with a specialized brand protection company that combines all the necessary tasks to prevent the harms from trademark violation.
At Red Points, we protect companies with customized plans, whether you have one trademark to protect or a large IP portfolio. We have multiple pricing plans to help protect companies of all sizes and stages. If you’re tired of playing whack-a-mole with infringements, get in touch with us for a 10-minute demo call to see the pricing and options available to you.