1. Establishing Brand Awareness.
A trademark identifies the goods and services of a business and distinguishes them from the goods and services of another business. In today’s hyper-competitive marketplace, brand identity and reputation management are the cornerstones in brand awareness. In fact, many companies expend up to 15% of their annual budget identifying and tracking consumer behavior through search engine optimization, social media marketing strategies, and analytical trend analysis. However, the foundation of brand awareness begins with understanding and protecting one’s trademark rights at both the state and federal level.
2. Ease of Maintenance.
Trademark rights are easily maintained once identified and protected. Marks registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) are granted federal protection and provide prima facie evidence of an owner’s exclusive rights in the Mark. Maintenance at the federal level merely requires an owner to continually use the mark in commerce and file a Declaration of Continued Use or Excusable Nonuse before the 6th year and 10th year of registration. At the state level, various statutes and state agency provide specific requirements related to bona fide and continuous use of the mark in commerce. However, at the state level, right may be limited to a specific geographic region.
3. Inexpensive Enforcement.
If enforcement is required, the most cost-effective and principal enforcement means is through a Cease and Desist Letter generated from a reputable trademark law firm. However, if ineffective, the owner of the Mark may file either an Opposition/Cancellation Proceeding with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board or Federal suit under the Lanham Act. However, in most cases a $500 Cease and Desist Letter will provide adequate notice and remedy.
4. Variety of Remedies Available
If a Federal Court action must be initiated, the Lanham Act provides a variety of possible remedies including preliminary and permeant injunctive relief, lost profits, and enhanced damages and attorney’s fees in exceptional and willful cases. However, to preserve these rights and remedies, the owner of a Mark must both police and enforce their rights or they may become diluted or generic. Our recommendation is to find an intellectual property firm that understands your brand, strategic goals, and competitive landscape.
Why the Rapacke Law Group? RLG filed more than 400 Trademark Applications and over a dozen Opposition/Cancellation Proceedings with the United State Patent and Trademark Office. Our Fixed-Fee billing structure and extensive prosecution experience ensure our clients know they are receiving a first-class customer experience while knowing their cost ahead of time.