The majority of businesses are aware of the advantages of registering their corporate brands as trademarks in the nations and regions where their goods are traded, manufactured, and transported. However, the fact of the matter is that the registration of a brand, business, or product name is only the initial step toward its efficient use and protection. In order to guarantee that valuable marks are fully protected and enforced, it is also essential to monitor for unapproved and potentially harmful uses.
Companies will be able to more effectively enforce their trademark rights if they can identify trademark infringement or misuse early. If a third party is attempting to register a trademark that may be in opposition to their own, brand owners who have prior rights are required to submit objections (or oppositions) to such registrations within strict deadlines.
In most cases, an opposition must be filed within two months of the attempted registration of a potentially incompatible trademark. However, if the deadline is missed, trademark registration challenges will be more difficult and costly.
For identifying and monitoring markets or brands at risk (such as counterfeiting), as well as for building evidence of misuse that can be used to fight them, the early detection of such infringements is essential. Online trademark monitoring is also essential in this context.
Developing an effective strategy for watching trademarks is important for quickly identifying and responding to infringement and misuse of registered marks and devices as a proactive monitoring tool. In order for a trademark strategy to be truly successful, it must take into account the scope and size of the portfolio of the brand owner.
It may not be feasible or cost-effective for a business with a large portfolio to monitor every trademark in every jurisdiction. Instead of focusing on “nice-to-have” or secondary brands, the business should concentrate on core brands and core jurisdictions that require complete protection.
What to Watch?
A brand owner’s trademark watch strategy should ideally include broad internet monitoring as well as all relevant trademark registers, whether managed in-house or outsourced to a specialist for the purpose of identifying applications for identical and similar trademarks; for instance, to identify fake goods that are being sold on social media and auction sites, as well as any potential harm to a brand or reputation.
Typically, one of three kinds of trademark watching is used to look for applications that might be in conflict with one another:
- Look for similar trademarks:identifies trademarks or devices with similar visual or phonetic characteristics, such as logos;
- Pay attention to similar trademarks:identifies marks that are identical but confusingly similar;
- Utilizing an attorney’s opinion, look for trademarks that are identical or similar:He can offer an opinion based on the lawyer’s consideration of prior rights and the likely impact on a company’s market share.
Online Monitoring of Rights is similar to online watching services, but it can be used whenever you want because it is available online. Based on trademarks and other specified keywords, it monitors the web, including online message boards and auction sites, for instances of infringement, counterfeiting, and other potential threats. Such services must be designed with a company’s fundamental trademark rights in mind as well.