I registered my trademark. Now what?

By registering a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the owner is making an investment in its future growth and success. It owns the monopoly on using that mark in the United States to sell its good or services. But the registration is not the end. It is essential that trademark owners continue to properly use their marks to maintain protection. Here are a couple ways that will help you to maximize and maintain the value of your trademark:

  1. Update your logo to include ®. This is the first advice that I give clients when their mark is registered. Using the ® properly provides notice that you have a registered trademark. If someone sees this and still infringes, you can ask the court for more damages because the infringer should have known it was registered and violated your rights anyway.
  2. Use the marks correctly. If you have ever said “let me Google this,” you have used Google incorrectly. Trademarks modify a noun or verb but they are not the noun or verb. When using your mark and allowing others to use it, you should always say the mark and then the goods or services. Improper use can lead to dilution of the strength of your mark and cause it to become generic.
  3. Enforce your marks. You have to ensure that others do not use your mark. This means that you may have to send cease and desist letters, use protective license agreements, add requirements to your employment agreements or handbooks, and maybe even file a law suit.
  4. Keep up-to-date with all deadlines. Trademark registration requires that you keep using the mark for your protected purpose. You are required to file documents at certain times to renew and prove use of your mark. Make sure you mark these deadlines and do not forget or the USPTO may invalidate your registration.

We’re here to help you navigate through the trademark process and enforcement. Give me a call!

Ginny Cascio Bonifacino, Esq.



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