Trademark filing is one of the most important ways to protect your brand from unlawful uses and manipulations. If you have a registered trademark you can enforce your rights in case someone infringes your intellectual properties. A trademark is assigned either to a word, image, logo, graphics, sound, color combination, sound and even smell.
Trademark filing process is a complex and long one that includes many steps those are put forth by the respective regulatory authority. Since it is a complex one there are many myths associated with it. Though there are many myths but some are very common and we need to address these myths right at the beginning. This article is aimed at bursting the myths of trademark filling.
Myth 1: I own the domain name, so I own the trademark
Merely registering a brand’s domain name (.com,.biz,.info) does not mean that you have acquired the trademark rights of that term. Trademark rights can be availed either you have registered the mark with the respective authority or you have been using it since a while (common law). In case you file for a trademark registration with the federal agency your protection is deemed valid across the whole country.
Myth 2: My trademark covers all goods and services
Trademark protection and trademark registration are given on the basis of classes of goods and services. Owning a trademark registration in one class of goods or services does not necessarily mean you can enforce it against someone using it in another class of goods or services.
Myth 3: I incorporated the business name with the state, so I own the trademark
This could be a blunder because despite the fact that trademarks are granted on first to use basis it has some limitations. And one of the limitations is that if you have incorporated a business name with the state then it doesn’t mean that it is protected across the country. To obtain a nationwide protection it is important to file a trademark application with the federal agency like the United States Patent and Trademark Offices.
Myth 4: Federal agency has the legal obligation of monitoring trademark violations
No, not at all. The onus is on the applicant to ensure that their trademarks are not being violated. In case they are being violated they should bring the matter in the cognizance of the federal agency and seek for appropriate steps. This is why trademark owners need to do a regular trademark monitoring of their mark.
Myth 5: Trademark Search is mandatory
As per statutory rules, a trademark search is not required, still, it is advisable because you may not want to reinvent the wheel. One needs to be very sure right at the beginning that the investments that you are going to make are worthy. A complete and full trademark search enables you to establish that the chosen mark is worth filling registration.