Trademark watch also called as trademark monitoring is the act of policing brands and trademarks for unlawful uses. Putting a trademark watch mechanism in place is not mandatory, but, as a professional business entity, it is important to keep a vigilant eye on activities that are going on in the marketplace. A vigilant eye would help companies protect their IPs and at the same time enforce their rights in case it is misused anywhere around the globe.
Frequency of Trademark Watching
Often it is asked whether trademark watching is a one-time investment or is a continuous task. To reap maximum benefits we must say that trademark watching should be done throughout the year and round the clock.
Importance of Trademark Watch Service
Viewing the fact that companies are short of time and resources in executing in-house trademark monitoring campaigns, outsourcing comes as a handy one wherein third party players do trademark watching related jobs for companies or in other words we can say is that companies buy trademark watch service from third parties.
Executing a Trademark Watch Mechanism in Place
An effective trademark watching mechanism can be put in place when various campaigns are executed simultaneously. Some of the campaigns those can be undertaken are as below-
Trademark watching with national databases: Trademark policing can be done efficiently by scanning major trademark search databases like Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS), European Intellectual Property Office (for Europe), Canadian Intellectual Property Office (for Canada) and other countries specific trademark search databases based on the targeted country.
Trademark watching with individual state databases
In a country like the United States, each state has its own trademark database that houses trademark related specific data pertaining to that state. Companies or trademark watch service providers can search these databases to monitor their brands and trademarks.
Trademark watch with search engines
Despite the fact that TESS is the most authentic and reliable trademark search database it may not pull all relevant data that may have an impact on your business. The simple reason for this is that there are cases when entities and/or individuals don’t register their trademarks with the U.S. PTO and these data can only be retrieved through various search engines. There are many search engines those can be scanned for trademark related data but some of the important ones are Google, Yahoo, Bing, AltaVista, and AOL.
Trademark watch with Sponsored ads:
The pay-per-click advertising program provided by Google and other search engines is the most preferred way to increase sales, however; only a handful of people know that it can also be used to abuse other’s trademark.
Here, competitors bid on your trademark as a keyword and consequently when a user clicks on the sponsored ad intending to buy your product, they land up on a site that is not yours.
To avoid such frauds trademark owners should also ensure that a search of their trademark does not bring up competitor’s sponsored ads. If it is happening it means that your competitors are bidding on your trademark as a keyword and you have every right to block such sponsored ads.