- Start using your trademark (if you haven’t already).
A trademark protects you when you continually use it, and can demonstrate that you have no intention to abandon it. Therefore, it is important that you actively use your trademark in connection with the goods or services that matches the description you provided. Make sure you archive the usage of your trademark, as you will need to provide proof of use before the trademark can be registered (if not done at the initial filing). Certain websites do this automatically and often can be relied upon in complex trademark disputes and litigation.
- Buy all domain names related to your trademark.
Protecting all domains related to your trademark is important to prevent competitors from trading on your goodwill. Make sure you register for all domain names that are variants of name that you care about and with all extensions. Be sure that you search for and register common misspellings to protect those as well. Also, make sure to protect your brand with common extensions for countries in which you may later operate. Trademarkia can help you search for and register your domains in more than 30 countries around the world. A few popular domains for different countries are:
.ca for Canada
.cn for China.co
.uk for the United Kingdom
.de for Germany
.au for Australia
.mx for Mexico
.in for India
- Place others on Notice of the rights in your trademark.
Make sure that you place the world on notice regarding your trademark rights. This notice is often placed in the Terms of Services of your website, and/or using a TM or ® next to your brand name (e.g., use TM if you have filed for a trademark, and ® once your trademark is registered).
- Monitor for infringement on your competitors websites.
Periodically do a Google search for your brand to see if there are people trying to misappropriate traffic away from you. Also, make sure that your competitors are not trying to steer traffic away from your website or business by using your trademarked name. If you sell a consumer product in the United States that is gaining popularity, make sure there are no knock-offs of your products that companies in foreign countries such as China are attempting to sell to United States customers (e.g., periodically do a search on Ali Baba to see if there are knockoffs). If you see that there are issues with other businesses that you think are infringing your rights, contact our law firm to set up a time to discuss your rights.
- Protect your other Logos and Brands as Trademarks.
Often, companies have different names, logos, and slogans that relate to their products and services that they have not protected. These can be just as important, if not more, as consumer may closer identify with your logo rather than your brand’s name itself. You can start the filing process for your company’s trademarks here.
- Protect your trademark in each country where you feel that it is valuable.
Trademarks are national rights, and it is important that you protect your brand in each country in which you currently operate, or may operate in the future. Our lawyers can help you determine where you should trademark your name, and can assist you in the filing of trademarks in more than 100 countries around the world.
This article presents the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of LegalForce RAPC or its clients. The information presented is general information and for educational purposes. No legal advice is intended to be conveyed; readers should consult with legal counsel with respect to any legal advice they require related to the subject matter of the article.