Trademark monitoring is a crucial step when you have a business and have spent the money to register your trademark. After that, you'll want to enforce your trademark and keep it protected. In order to do that, you'll need to know who else is using your name.

Why Should You Monitor Your Trademark?

There are many good reasons to monitor your trademark. These include the following:

  • Knowing when you need to take action to keep your trademark from being infringed.
  • Staying observant so your trademark doesn't get diluted and turn into a generic word.
  • Reducing impersonators and knock-offs.
  • Staying on top of what your competition is doing.

Advantages of Trademark Monitoring

Trademark monitoring is essential, as it shields against an increase in globalization. The economy continues to become more global, so the possibility for infringement also continues to increase. This is true in both business to business and business to consumer industries, as there are more options for consumers than ever before.

You'll need to monitor your trademark so you can sustain and protect your trademark's rights. This makes sure that you'll be informed if a similar or identical trademark gets applied for or gets accepted for publishing. You'll be given a chance to act quickly if you file an opposition.

Trademark monitoring prevents damage control as well. It allows for the flexibility and freedom to expand any ideas you have. If the trademark is in a market that's not valuable or a low priority currently, that doesn't mean it won't be popular in the future. When you watch all the brands you have on a regular basis, it allows you to keep your current and future investments protected. This way you can outsmart any competition by knowing what they plan on doing before they do it. You'll also get new ideas for your company this way.

It's important to monitor your trademark with correct monitoring and enforcement, as you won't be able to maintain your rights otherwise. Infringers also won't be able to say that their infringing is legal according to the doctrine of laches. When you monitor your trademark, you won't need to worry about your customers leaving to go to another competitor.

Disadvantages of Not Having a Trademark Monitoring Plan

There are several disadvantages to not monitoring your trademark. This can lead to you losing all the rights to your trademark. For example, if third parties start using similar trademarks that are related to services or goods that are comparable to yours and you don't take any action, the trademark will lose some, if not all, of its value. The trademark won't be the source identifier in the market anymore, which means it will get weaker and you may completely lose your rights.

Not monitoring your trademark can also cause you to lose revenue. If there's notable infringement, your business may completely fall apart. In order to avoid this, you need to constantly monitor your trademarks to make sure they're not being infringed. If you find that they are, you'll need to take legal action such as sending cease and desist letters. You can also go forth with opposition and cancellation proceedings by going to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board or whatever other actions are appropriate in the circumstances.

What are Some of the Tools Used for Trademark Monitoring?

There are several tools available to help with trademark monitoring Google AdWords and AdWords Keyword Planner lets companies look for specific terminology across the web. AdWords looks at other online advertisements, while Keyword Planner looks for certain terms and how much traffic they're getting each month.

Another simple tool is Google Search, which can help you look up almost anything. You can also use Google Alerts to send you notifications to your email whenever new content appears online that is similar to yours.

The USPTO, or United States Patent and Trademark Office, have advanced their online website and made it easier to maintain a trademark. They have TESS, or Trademark Electronic Search System, which is a search system that's robotized to find trademark infringement prior to it starting. This search engine looks for trademarks based on a variety of variables.

If you need help with trademark monitoring, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.