Understanding The Life Cycle Of A Trademark
A good trademark is essential to the success of any company. A strong trademark can be used to differentiate a company’s products from those of its competitors and build brand loyalty. Consequently, it should not be surprising that many factors need to be considered when deciding upon a trademark in order to avoid problems later on
At Gordon E. R. Troy, PC, we help innovative business owners register, license, defend, and exploit their trademarks, allowing them to capitalize on the myriad opportunities a strong trademark provides. We are equipped to address any trademark issue that arises in its life cycle. For over 35 years, we have successfully represented individuals and entities throughout the United States and across the globe.
From Creation To Commercial Exploitation: The Nine Stages Of A Trademark’s Life Cycle
Extracting the greatest benefit from a trademark requires vigilance and active involvement throughout all stages of a trademark’s life cycle. We work closely with our clients, helping them avoid pitfalls that can jeopardize the value of their trademarks in licensing agreements and other commercial pursuits.
As our client, you will gain from the sound counsel that we offer for a variety of trademark matters, including:
1. Creation. We help our clients determine the trademark’s appropriateness for markets in the U.S. and abroad, and avoid misleading terms that can open up a business to liabilities. We can assess the strength of your mark and identify potential conflicts.
2. Screening. We can help you screen your list of possible trademarks so you can exclude those that have already been registered. We will perform a preliminary search for your trademark in federal directories, in directories in foreign countries, on the internet, and on other relevant domains.
3. Clearance. Clearance is a more in-depth process to determine the viability of potential trademarks and is an important step in determining the likelihood of approval. For an additional charge, we can conduct a search for the product classes, logos, domain names and other elements to ensure that there are no conflicts with other trademarks.
4. Investigation. Any potential conflicts uncovered during clearance are further examined. In particular, an investigation will determine if conflicting trademarks are still in use in the market, and what your options.
5. Opinion. After compiling research, we will evaluate the data and issue an opinion as to any risks in proceeding with the registration. Based upon this opinion, you must decide whether you wish to proceed with the registration.
6. Filing/registration. After deciding on your desired trademark, we will gather all the necessary documentation, prepare the application and submit it to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). If you are already using your mark, the filing will be use-based. If you are registering a mark that you are planning to use in the relatively near future, the filing will be intent to use-based. (If you are filing an intent-to-use application and your application is approved, you must begin using the mark and submit a Statement of Use (SOU) within three years.) Note, however, that at the time you file an intent-to-use application, you must take bona fide steps and/or making plans to use your mark in connection with the designated goods and services.
7. Protection. Having your trademark approved is simply the first step in branding your products and services. Your trademark is a valuable asset, and it is therefore vital to be on alert against infringements. If you find competitor trademarks that you believe infringe on your marks, we can help you determine the most expedient, cost-effective courses of action. We can also monitor third-party applications in the USPTO which may limit your rights to expand your mark to cover additional goods and services, or that may create a likelihood of confusion with your mark.
8. Maintenance. A trademark registration does not last forever. In order to retain the rights to your trademark, you must use it in commerce and periodically file for renewal as well as submit affidavits that the mark remains in use.
9. Commercial exploitation. Your trademark is a valuable asset, and there are a number of avenues you may pursue to further increase its value. Depending on your circumstances and goals, you may consider entering into licensing agreements here in the U.S. or abroad. As your counsel, we can explain the benefits and drawbacks associated with these and other commercial endeavors.
Wherever your trademark is in its life cycle, we have the insight and resources to protect your intellectual property and help you achieve your long-term objectives.
Learn How We Can Help You Protect Your Intangible Assets
You can reach us online or by dialing our toll-free number at 877-833-2586.
Located in West Windsor, Gordon E. R. Troy, PC, represents clients throughout the United States and across the globe.