Trademark Monitoring Service: Intricacies

Trademark monitoring service helps business owners keep a vigilant eye on their brands and trademarks for any kind of abuse and misuse. There are many instances when a sharp decline in your product could be attributed to trademark theft and not to any kind of sales related issues. Thus it is important for businesses to keep on tracking if their trademarks are being misused anywhere in the market place.

When it comes to protecting your brands, trademark monitoring service can be handy in case you are a busy business owner and don’t have much time and/or don’t have much knowledge about how to put in place an effective trademark monitoring mechanism.

Also called as trademark watch, the process of monitoring trademark, is a continuous, on-going and dynamic process which a trademark owner needs to do round the clock and throughout the year. Though, the overall process may vary depending upon the need of the brand, still, there are some common ways through which we can monitor our trademarks-

Trademark monitoring with U.S. PTO database- Assuming that you are a business operating from the jurisdiction of United States, Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) provided by the U.S. PTO is the obvious database that comes at the top of our mind.

TESS (Trademark Electronic Search System) is one of the most reliable databases that a trademark search professional can use to find relevant information pertaining to trademark and do trademark monitoring.

This database is used by trademark monitoring service providers to find records of pending and registered trademarks to find similar, closely similar, or exact similar marks that may have an impact on your business.

Using search engines: One of the peculiarities about U.S trademark law is that it is granted on first use basis and thus registration is not mandatory. Viewing this, it is important for businesses to find even those data that are not listed in the government registrars. In such a situation major search engines like Google, yahoo, AOL, AltaVista can help immensely to find if someone is playing with our tradenames and trademarks.

Tracking Sponsored ads: Pay-per-click platforms like Google Adwords, are one of the best platforms that businesses use to increase their revenue, however, the same platform can be used by businesses to trick their competitors. With this, companies can bid on keywords that are someone else’s trademarks and thus when a user clicks on the specified ad they lands up on a website other than the original trademark owner.

Thus business owners need to ensure that a search of their trademark does not bring up competitor’s sponsored ads on various ad serving platforms.

Trademark monitoring with HTML codes: An effective trademark monitoring service would be incomplete without tracking competitors HTML codes. There are many instances when competitors use someone else’ trademark as a keyword in their HTML code and thus hijacking much of their sales.

Thus it is important for trademark owners to scan the HTML codes of their competitor websites to see if they are using their marks in their source codes.

‘Google Alerts’ as a monitoring tool: Google offers plenty of search options and tools to users to customize contents as per their needs and ‘Google Alert’ is one of those tools that we can use to get information related to a keyword right on our inbox. While putting an effective trademark monitoring mechanism in place Google Alerts can be of immense use.

Doing trademark monitoring with State trademark and corporate databases:

Searching state related databases and corporate databases could be another important tool that we can use while formulating an effective trademark monitoring service in place.

Monitoring state trademark and corporate databases for filings of new business names or trademarks is another effective way that we can implement in our overall trademark monitoring plan. In the United States, every state has its own trademark portal that a searcher can use to find relevant information pertaining to a mark. A trademark owner needs to search each of these portals manually to ensure a comprehensive trademark monitoring for their marks.

Apart from State trademark databases, we can also use various corporate databases those maintains relevant information of various businesses.

Subscribing to RSS feeds of relevant blogs:

Subscribing to RSS feeds of websites and blogs is one of the most common ways of consuming information these days. People subscribe to RSS feeds of relevant website and consequently blog posts are readily delivered to their inbox.  If used consciously it can be another effective way to determine if someone else is using your trade name or trademark in their products and services.

Searching yellow pages and newspapers for trademark monitoring:

Business yellow pages and top newspapers also maintain relevant information about businesses and these are widely used by trademark search professionals to monitor trademarks.

All we can say is that availing trademark monitoring service can be of immense use if it is put in place wisely and prudently. Though it is a tedious and time-consuming task but it pays off a lot down the lines.

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