Filing trademark is one of the most potent ways to protect your brand from unlawful uses, however, we need to realize is that the process is not as simple as it looks superficially. There are plenty of subtleties those we need to address before filing for a trademark. This becomes even more important in a country like the United States where you can find trademark litigations every now and then. Thus before you go for U. S. trademark filing four important things need to be addressed right at the beginning.
Below are four of the important facts those you need to address before going for U.S trademark filing.
What is a trademark?
A Trademark is a legal right provided by a federal agency to business owners to stop others from using their products unlawfully. While on the one hand, it protects business rights of owners, at the same time it offers a way for buyers to distinguish a particular brand from similar kinds. Trademarks can be obtained for marks, logos, image marks, sounds and even smells and thus the scope of trademark protection is very broad and is not merely limited to word marks.
How do I check if a trademark is already registered?
The best way to assess this is by doing a comprehensive and full trademark search using various tools and techniques. Doing trademark search on country specific trademark search database is one of those important tools we can use to find marks those are similar or nearly similar. For example, if you wish to find search results for the United States Trademark Electronic Search System is the best one to go for. Similarly, there are many other databases those we can use to ascertain if your mark is already in use.
Does a U.S. trademark registration protect a trademark in a foreign country?
No, a U. S. trademark filing will not protect your trademark in a foreign country because trademark rights are territorials and thus applicant will have to file a trademark application separately in each country where protection is sought. However, filing an international application,” with the International Bureau of the World Property Intellectual Organization (WIPO), through the USPTO we can seek protection in 92 different countries provided the intended country is a signatory of Madrid Protocol.
How do I prevent someone else from using a trademark similar to mine in the U.S.?
This is where trademark monitoring comes into play wherein every trademark owner has a legal obligation to monitor if their marks are being misused anywhere across the country. Trademark Monitoring or Trademark Watch is done by incorporating various methods like searching the search engines, looking into the HTML codes of competitor websites, looking into the advertising platforms like Google’s Pay per Click. Once you discover someone is infringing on your right you can then enforce your legal rights by appealing to the Courts.