How do companies monitor their brands for their brands?

Brand surveillance is important when it comes to protecting the value of a brand. Whether you’ve protected a slogan, brand name, color, product shape or even a smell, we need to verify it and keep a close eye on the events happening around us. All we can say is that brand owners have a duty to monitor their brand year-round, 24/7 so they can protect their brand from any adverse event.

For companies, establishments and businesses, the value of unmonitored trademarks is always at risk and can lead to the complete loss of all trademark rights.

Whether you are a trademark surveillance service provider or a trademark owner, there are three key tasks we perform when auditing a trademark surveillance service and they are as follows:

  • Monitoring unauthorized use of a trademark

  • Monitor use of confusingly similar trademarks

  • Monitor use of trademarks by approved trademark licensees

So how should companies conduct effective brand monitoring? Here are some steps:

Determine the area: Trademark rights are territorial and are generally assigned from country to country, so the first step is to know the territory to conduct a trademark watch, ie which territory you will be monitoring for a particular mark. This depends on where your own rights now apply and what your expansion plans are. Trademarks and trade names that we register at the federal level are national, while unregistered common law rights are effective in the geographic area of ​​origin. Trademark rights are also granted from country to country, so rights in the United States have no effect outside of the United States.

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Develop a proactive system to detect abuse: The second step in a comprehensive trademark surveillance process will be to develop a proactive system to learn of abuse. Brand issues are often easier to resolve the sooner they occur, so regularly monitoring events is key to success in this space. Some of the important action plans that brand monitoring service providers can implement are:

  • Search the USPTO’s online database of state trademark applications and registrations

  • Regularly browsing the internet for abusive use

  • Set up a Google Alert for your brand

  • Follow-up of customer complaints

  • Get help from a professional trademark monitoring service provider

  • Set up various online reporting procedures for brand theft by third parties

Rate the substance: The third step in this process is knowing the substance of the abuse. Once we prove the abuse, we can take the necessary steps to move forward. This is the only step that tells us if the third party used goods and/or services like ours? Is the area used (geographical location) an issue and/or is it legal to use as it is permitted fair use?

Decide the actions: There are many actions we generally take after we have demonstrated abuse. For example, sending a cease and desist letter to the infringer could be the first step if a party violates your right. If a federal application is pending, you can appeal the application to the USPTO. For web use, the domain name registrar may attempt to remove inappropriate or infringing content, even if the owner or user refuses. Misuse of a trademark in a domain name can often be remedied through optimized UDRP procedures.

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Enforcement of your rights:

This is the last and final step in the entire trademark surveillance process where the plaintiff files a lawsuit to enforce the rights.

Summarize: In summary, brand monitoring is a continuous and ongoing process and companies should conduct it throughout the year to avoid their brand being misused.

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