The Consequences of Not Protecting and Defending Your Trademarks

September 6, 2019 11:55 pm

A trademark owner should be aggressive in protecting their trademarks for a variety of reasons. They are as follows:

1.  A competing business may use your trademark or service mark as their own due to the fact your business has built goodwill or has developed a strong brand.  This scenario can result in lost customers, sales, or business.
2.  Trademarks or service marks are essential advertising and marketing tools.
3.  A trademark owner can assert exclusive rights against a trademark infringer through cease and desist and/or litigation.
4.  A trademark owner can miss out on the opportunity to earn royalty income from licensing trademarks to others for use.
5.  A trademark owner can lose trademark rights if they are not vigilant in protecting trademark rights.

Number 5 is very important and I will explain how one can lose their trademark rights in greater detail. The failure to police a trademark can have significant legal consequences.  Policing a trademark includes:

Defending the mark against infringers by sending cease and desists or initiating legal action such as infringement lawsuits or temporary and permanent restraining orders;
Opposing trademark applications with the USPTO that are confusingly similar to your trademark;
Filing a cancellation action against any trademark that becomes registered with the USPTO that is confusingly similar to your trademark;

Inaction in policing your trademark can lead to a bar to sue for trademark infringement. In addition, failure to prosecute infringers usually is evidence of a weak mark. As a result, challengers can petition the USPTO to cancel your trademark registration.

In conclusion, once you have obtained a registered trademark, there is still work to do. Protect your trademarks at all costs to reap all the benefits that trademark ownership offers.


Sumit is an aspiring writer with an increased interest in Asian politics.Residing in New Delhi, he often writes about Diplomatic Relationships, Trade and International Business. Reach Sumit on Facebook / Twitter.

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