Once you register a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), it's your responsibility to preserve the mark and ensure that it continues to represent what's unique about your business.
If you don't preserve your trademarks, you risk forfeiting the exclusive rights to use them. So, to help you protect what's special and meaningful about your company in the long term, here are some tips.
Avoid Trademark Disputes
One of the most effective ways to preserve your trademark is by choosing a strong and unique mark at the outset.
Where possible, opt for arbitrary marks. Arbitrary marks are simply English words used in a completely different context from their original meaning, e.g., Apple for a computer company.
If you can't choose an arbitrary mark, at least make sure no one's already using your mark to avoid IP litigation.
Renew Your Trademarks Every 10 Years
Trademarks don't last forever. Instead, they must be renewed with the USPTO every ten years. So, you must manage your trademark portfolio properly and identify when a trademark falls due for renewal in advance of the filing date. Otherwise, you could lose your trademark.
Monitor Your Trademark's Distinctiveness
While it's somewhat unavoidable, there's a chance your brand name could become too generic to protect.
For example, the words “Laundromat” and “Trampoline” once enjoyed trademark protection, but over time, the words lost their meaning, and they became generic terms rather than distinctive brand names.
If your trademark loses its distinctive edge, it's no longer protected. An IP attorney can help you monitor a trademark's distinctiveness and identify early signs of dilution.
Actively Use Your Trademarks
If you don't use your trademarks, you could forfeit the rights to them. For example, if a trademark goes unused for three years, it could be considered abandonment, making it easier for competitors to claim your mark.
Trademark preservation can be technical. At the Mykyta Law firm, we can help – for a free consultation, simply complete the website contact form or give us a call at (646) 884 - 3319.