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Common trademark maintenance mistakes and how to fix them
Trademark Infringement
4 mins

Common trademark maintenance mistakes and how to fix them

Table of Contents:

    Trademarks are vital intellectual property (IP) assets that can determine the success or failure of your brand. If your business has multiple protected trademarks you will have a competitive edge and the ability to establish your brand in  the market. 

    On the other hand, if your trademarks have weak protection you could be risking loss of revenue, a damaged reputation and a diminishment of your valuable brand assets. 

    To ensure that you can grow your brand, you need to know what trademark maintenance is and why it is vital for brand protection. In this blog we’ll be covering a number of topics, including:

    • What is trademark maintenance? 
    • The importance of trademark maintenance in Brand Protection
    • Common trademark maintenance mistakes and how to fix them 
    • How a Trademark Monitoring Software can help you with trademark maintenance

    What is trademark maintenance? 

    Trademark maintenance refers to actions that businesses or individuals can take to maintain the validity of their trademarks. A federal trademark will last 10 years after registration and can be renewed by the owner as long as the owner continues to use the trademark in ordinary commerce. However, for the trademark to continue to be legitimate throughout these ten years, and beyond, it must be properly maintained. 

    Trademark maintenance commonly consists of five basic elements: renewal, tax, cautionary notice, affidavit of use, and proof of renewal of registration. 

    • Renewal – every 10 years you will need to file a renewal request with the United States Patent and Trademark office (USPTO). 
    • Tax – you will also need to pay the required income tax every year to maintain your trademark’s status.
    • Cautionary notice – used to notify the general public that a trademark is registered and that you are the owner. 
    • Affidavit of use – filed between the fifth and sixth year after registration, sometimes called a Statement of Use.
    • Proof of renewal of registration – a document you will receive from the USPTO following the filing of your renewal and affidavit of use. 
    Red Points' Trademark Monitoring Software

    The importance of trademark maintenance in Brand Protection

    So, why go to the trouble of filing renewals and affidavits of use? Why is it important for your brand to maintain your trademarks? The simple answer is that your intellectual property must be protected if you want to grow your brand and stand out from competitors. 

    By maintaining your trademark you protect your brand, stop other businesses from using your IP and establish a path to legally safeguard your content. Your trademark may concern a symbol, a word or a phrase that over time becomes completely identifiable with your brand. If, through poor trademark maintenance, you let anyone use your trademarked content you may allow your brand’s reputation to suffer and become confused. This inevitably leads to the loss of revenue and the dilution of your brand’s impact. 

    Brands that properly maintain their trademarks and use them effectively can quickly become household names and establish their position in the market for years to come. 

    Common trademark maintenance mistakes and how to fix them 

    To ensure you can maintain your trademarks for many years it helps to avoid some of these common mistakes: 

    • Failing to pay trademark maintenance fees – When you make your initial trademark application you will need to pay a fee to the USPTO. After registration, some trademark owners forget that they also have to pay additional fees for intent-to-use applications and declarations. 
    • Failing to use the trademark – If a trademark has not been used within five years of registration it can become invalid. If your business has multiple trademarks to track you must be aware of when each trademark was registered and whether it is being used. 
    • Not renewing the trademark on time – Brands must also be aware of when trademarks need to be renewed. Forgetting about the renewal date is a common mistake that can lead to expensive expiry costs and putting your IP at risk.

    How a Trademark Monitoring Software can help you with trademark maintenance

    Red Points’ Trademark Monitoring Software is a great way to boost your trademark maintenance. Through monitoring and the takedown of trademark infringements Red Points will support the value of your brands’ trademarks. Here are some of the ways our software can help:

    • Early detection of potential infringements: This allows you to receive alerts if there are any potential trademark infringements. With this information at your fingertips you can take early action and remove the infringing trademark before it becomes established in the marketplace. 
    • Monitoring for unauthorized use: Our software will also conduct in-depth monitoring throughout online marketplaces, social media, websites and other sources, highlighting any instance of trademark misuse. This enables you to quickly detect and react to counterfeiters, pirates and other scammers. 
    • Quick response to infringements: When it comes to trademark infringement, speed is of the utmost importance. Our trademark monitoring software empowers you to quickly respond and take down the infringements to protect your trademark rights and customers. 
    • Reputation management: Through monitoring and takedowns, our software also enables you to safeguard your brand’s reputation and maintain consumer trust. You will be able to keep the trust of your consumers and support your brand’s intellectual property. 
    • Cost-effective solution: There are several ways to deal with trademark infringement but using an automated monitoring software is, without doubt, the most cost effective solution. Rather than hiring full-time staff and engaging an outside law firm, you can make the most of our sleek and efficient trademark monitoring software.

    What’s Next

    Trademark maintenance is a continual process that can be informed by solid principles, modern technology and a proactive approach. Businesses must pay attention to the five elements of trademark maintenance as well as any potential issues during the timeline of their trademarks to keep them valid and enforceable. 

    A Trademark Monitoring Software like Red Points can help businesses with a cost-effective solution for trademark maintenance by providing early detection of potential infringements, monitoring for unauthorized use, quick response to infringements, and reputation management. By properly maintaining their trademarks, businesses can protect their intellectual property, stand out from competitors, and establish a position in the market for years to come. 

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