Okay, so you have a trademark and you think that’s all you need ever do to keep that mark. Right? Wrong?
Did you know that in order for you to keep and protect your valuable trademark, there are certain things you absolutely must do? In the world of trademarks, we call them post-registration formalities. Among the actions you must take after you receive your trademark registration are:
- Use it. Use your trademark the way you said you were using it, when you filed Statement of Use
- Use it correctly. Make sure your trademark stands out.
- Use the appropriate trademark symbol correctly.
- Monitor your trademark. Make sure no one else is using your trademark without your permission.
- File Declaration Continued of Use. Between years 5-6, make sure you file this document. If you miss this deadline, your registration will automatically cancel, and no one will tell you.
- Renew your trademark. A trademark lasts forever, so long as you File Declaration Continued of Use. Between years 5-6, make sure you file this document. If you miss this deadline, your registration will automatically cancel, and no one will tell you.
“I didn’t know that! No one ever told me,” some of you may be saying. Well maybe that’s true, and maybe not. Sometimes clients don’t pay attention, and sometimes they don’t understand the importance of these steps. I know for myself, every time I register a trademark for a client I discuss how they should use the mark. Not only do I discuss the steps they should take, but give them a cheat sheet with explicit instructions.
Until next time, I’m attorney Francine Ward sharing useful legal information. Join my conversation on Facebook, Twitter, or in one of my LinkedIn groups, Google+ Circles.