4 WHYS FOR TRADEMARK MONITORING
You have successfully registered your trademark! Congratulations. Now what? I guess you can forget about it until your next payment of renewal (which is due in 10 years from now), right? WRONG!!
In fact, now the real work actually begins. You may ask why is that? Once the trademark has been registered you can start using it right? Let me ask you the following questions:
What do you think happens if someone else uses it as well? Or what happens if there is an identical trademark applied for after mine?
A while back I was talking with a CEO of a rather small company operating in extremely competitive niche, (let’s call him: John). John figured that the office where we registered the TM will notify him when such situation arises. I briefly explained to him, that this is the case only in certain jurisdictions (such as EU and some others as well) and only after the similar TMs have been formally applied for. This does not cover all the similar Trademarks that are used daily on social media, real-time business etc. (you can read more on this in Protect your brand online). So, John asked me:
»What happens then if a competitor decides not to file such a similar trademark? «
In this article I shall describe the 4 key whys every owner of its trademark should have a MONITORING in place for their Trademark(s)
1. Control (of who is using my registered Trademark)
Chances are, that if your product/service are desirable and people are buying it, there are copycats out there that are already using your (hard earned and protected) Trademark already to their own benefit. Only that they have not sold enough for you to know or even care. With proper monitoring of your Trademark in place you can therefore have at least have some sort of control over your brand.
2. Acting sooner (rather than later)
Ideally, monitoring can spot potentially harmful trademark well before it has been established in the market. Roughly speaking in 60 % of the times a simple seize and desist letter from your attorney goes a long way with small actors who knowingly or (in some cases) unknowingly use your protected trademark. It definitely beats a long and costly dispute over the invalidation/cancellation proceedings before national courts, right?
3. Less work for your marketing/legal department
If you are an employee of a big multinational corporation and working in marketing/legal department, then you are probably aware of a number of daily activities you need to do, to keep your bosses happy and thus, company afloat. There are much more important things to do, other than browsing through the internet and searching for potentially conflicting trademarks to your company's. Nowadays, services of monitoring trademarks can be obtained in order to clear up your employees’ schedules.
4. Cost-effective solution to a BIG problem
No matter if you are a solo entrepreneur, owner of a small company or head of legal department within big organization, you probably decided to protect your brand for the same reason: To stop everyone else from using your trademark! Perhaps some of you might think that this is quite costly. Truth is, it can be, especially if you hold a substantial number of trademarks. But just consider this: Imagine how much would it cost you to hire an attorney, pay him/her to file and manage a lawsuit against a similar Trademark that you could have prevented from being registered in the first place? If you are just starting out with your brand-new Trademark though, note that the prices for monitoring national trademarks range from 25 – 400 € per trademark per year.