Are there inexpensive ways to enforce trademarks?
Yes, it is possible to enforce trademarks without much money. You need to know how to use certain platforms and governmental agencies to your advantage, but don’t expect everything to be free. You can use a cost-effective strategy for registering and enforcing trademarks, but a reasonable investment will be required. These costs, however, should pale in comparison to the costs of litigation.
In addition to reducing costs, saving time in trademark enforcement is a huge advantage. Some of these programs require no ongoing effort by the trademark owner. Once you start them, the trademark protection is automated.
Start By Filing Your Trademark With USPTO
If you have not yet filed a trademark application, stop what you’re doing. Stop fantasizing about common law rights and all that you theoretically will accomplish without a registration. Get your trademarks registered, period. Your trademark registration will open doors and unlock value that can far exceed the cost of registration.
How to Get Amazon to Enforce Your Trademarks
If you or your competitors will sell goods on Amazon, then register your trademark on Amazon Brand Registry. No need to wait until your mark is registered. Amazon’s registry will accept a trademark that is not yet registered as long as it is covered in a pending USPTO trademark application.
So what does registering your trademark with Amazon Brand Registry give you? First, you will be able report infringing listings and get Amazon to take down those listings. Second, you may be able to take advantage of their Project Zero program which will scan listings for counterfeits. It appears that they are trying provide automated protections that do not require trademark owners to manually identify counterfeit products.
How To Get the USPTO To Block Trademark Applications
Wouldn’t it be so nice to have the USPTO in your corner? Imagine examiners rejecting trademark applications by others without you even knowing it? Well, this fantasy is a reality for all federal trademark registration owners. Even a registration on the Supplemental Register can block future applications for similar marks.
If your trademark application has not yet matured into a registration, your pending application may nonetheless cause subsequently filed applications to be put on hold until your application either registers or dies.
Of course, other applicants will have the option to argue that their marks are different than your trademark. If they prevail, it will be up to you to monitor when their application is published for opposition and then timely file an opposition to their application.
In terms of return on investment of time and money, this is easily one of the best ways to protect your trademark. Other than what you spent registering your trademark, you literally spend no time or money in getting the USPTO to reject other trademark applications.
How to Get US Customs to Enforce Your Trademarks
Did you know that US Customs and Border Protection can block the import of goods on your behalf? As long as you own a registration on the Principal Register that covers goods, you can record your trademark registration with US Customs. For a flat rate estimate to record your registered trademark with Customs, email me your USPTO trademark registration number.
Need to enforce trademarks without spending a lot of money?
Contact trademark and patent attorney Vic Lin by email or call (949) 223-9623 to explore strategies for enforcing your trademarks without spending much money or time.
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