Any word, name, text, or symbol that is used to mark/ identify one’s property, goods, services, etc. is a Trademark. A registered trademark will mark the belongings in the owner’s name, and no one else is holding a right/ authority to use the same mark without the owner’s consent. Trademark laws protect the rights of the trademark owners, which on neglecting leads to severe penalties. It’s not only a marketing strategy to give your brand a logo or a unique symbol, but an efficient symbol that gives you brand recognition. This article covers the major Do’s and Don’ts for trademark, to make you aware of the situations that might take you towards paying trademark penalties.
Trademark Penalties: Do’s for Trademark Use
The following section includes all the permissible things that one can with his/her trademark:
- Using your mark to display your brand, service, or goods, is allowed.
- Using your trademark for the first time within the period of its validity time (1-20 years) is allowed. It is not necessary that the use of a mark has to be done just after it gets registered.
- Using your service trademark in advertising or signs offering the subject services are allowed.
- Using fonts of different styles, colors, textures, and cases (Upper, capital, Bold, Underline, etc.) is allowed to create a trademark.
- Using ‘TM’ for trademark or ‘®’ notation for a federally registered trademark, after your mark is allowed.
- Use of a similar name, idea, phrase, character that matches the idea, focus, name, target audience, service type, etc. of your brand/commodity/service, to appeal a particular group of customers is allowed.
Trademark Penalties: Don’ts for Trademark Use
The following section includes all the non-permissible things that one can with his/her trademark:
- Using a logo as a noun is not allowed. Using an adjective after a noun, as a trademark is allowed.
- Using a trademark in possessive form is not allowed.
- Using the plural form for a trademark is not allowed. Instead, its common noun must be pluralized.
- Using verbs as a trademark is not allowed.
Also, it is beneficial to perform a ‘trademark audit’ periodically within your business or marketing department to ensure that the company’s trademarks are correctly being used as per the government norms, to avoid such trademark penalties.
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