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How do I build a solid trademark strategy?

Building a solid trademark strategy is critical for both new and established entrepreneurs and businesses. Trademark planning provides a greater understanding of your brand’s risks and strengths as you continue to grow and develop your business. It is best to start thinking about trademark protection as early as possible in order to pave the strongest path forward with your brand.

When exploring a new business idea, choosing a brand is important as you work to distinguish yourselves from the competition. At this early stage, a trademark search may help to determine and navigate what trademarks are currently registered and whether any are similar to your brand idea. Depending on what is found, it may be recommended to explore other brand ideas to avoid investing resources on a brand that may run into obstacles down the road. Once a trademark search has been conducted and a brand idea has proven to be relatively low risk, it is important to begin using the mark as soon as possible as ownership is typically determined based on priority in use in the United States. Using the trademark puts the public on notice that you are claiming ownership of the brand as it relates to your specific goods or services.

Once you have screened a trademark, applied for registrations, and have launched your brand, it is important to continue using the mark as the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) may cancel registrations where use is not continuous. With these protections in place, brand owners must enforce their trademark rights to continually strengthen their claim to their mark. If similar brands can establish themselves, it may weaken how far your protection extends. This is why many brands invest in watch services to continue protecting their investments and being aware of what else might be out there before similar brands grow stronger.

If you believe a third-party is infringing on your trademark protection, we recommend reaching out to an attorney.

Author: Fernando Dutra.

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