Trade mark watching- what should you know!
While it is excellent that you have succeeded in registering your trade mark, you need to ensure that it is giving you the best level of protection that it should.
To do this, you need to monitor it and any third party marks that may infringe it.
This can be done through trade mark watching.
Trade mark watching is the procedure taken by trade mark owners to ensure there is not a third party taking advantage of their trade mark. In most circumstances, the watcher will be looking for any potentially conflicting applications that could contain an identical or similar trade mark as well as any use by another company of your branding pretending to be you. This could also involve the sale of counterfeit goods, pretending to be you on social media or using your branding to damage your reputation.
The earlier you can implement this procedure, the better results you will have. It will also allow you to stay within time frames and restrictions that arise when, for example, a third party is trying to register a trade mark that is similar yours which needs to be objected within two months of the registration application.
When determining your trade mark watching strategy, it is important to consider your position. If you are a smaller business with only a handful of trade marks which are instrumental to your brand, it is important to watch them all. However if you are a larger corporation with a large trade mark portfolio, it will not be cost effective or time effective to try and watch all of them. Here you need to prioritise the marks that are of more significance to your business and will have the most affect if infringed.
This process can be done in-house by a member of your team, which of course will reduce costs, or there are online watching services that can do this for you.
It all depends on your budget and time pressures. If you can devote enough time to watch your trade marks properly, then it may be best to keep it in-house, however if you cannot, using an additional service will allow you to keep on top of it but not burden yourself more.
For more information, contact Jane at The Trademarkroom
By Ellis Sweetenham