When you register a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USTPO), you might think you have no more work to do. While registering your trademark is a great way to protect your intellectual property, you will have to take some proactive steps to ensure you receive the full benefit of registered trademark protection.
Use it or lose it
A trademark is only valuable as long as you continue to use it. Inconsistent use or never using your trademark at all is a great way to weaken any claims you may have should a trademark dispute ever arise.
It’s also important to remember to renew your trademark with the USTPO. Your trademark protections will be weakened considerably if you let your registered trademark lapse.
Enforce the use of your trademark
The USTPO does not enforce or police the use of trademarks. It’s up to you to monitor and enforce any instances of trademark infringement. Doing so is usually not as daunting as this may sound.
You don’t necessarily have to resort to the legal big guns at the first sign of infringement. Many times, an infringing party may be unaware of any trademark protections. Often, a polite yet formal request informing the party that they are using a trademark, and should cease and desist from its continued use, is enough to settle the matter. However, should the infringing use persist, you should take the time to explore your available legal options.
Trademark registration, though not required, offers substantially more protection than you would receive with an unregistered trademark. You can further strengthen this protection through continued use and enforcement of your valuable trademark.