What is a trademark monitoring service?
A trademark monitoring service can notify you of trademark applications by third parties that may be similar to your trademarks. There are a variety of trademark monitoring services that range from US to worldwide, and from federal filings to federal and state.
When do you need a trademark monitoring service?
If you are concerned about others trying to register trademarks that are too close to yours, then a trademark monitoring service allows you to keep track of trademark filings by others so that you can take appropriate action in a timely manner.
A monitoring service differs from a trademark watch service which tracks the status and progress of a particular trademark application. If you are concerned about a specific trademark filing, then a watch service may be appropriate.
Doesn’t the USPTO already refuse the registration of confusable trademarks?
Any trademark applicant who has ever encountered a likelihood of confusion rejection knows that the Trademark Office already blocks similar marks from registration without the registration owner’s involvement. If the USPTO can block confusable marks from registration without the registration owner even knowing about it, why bother with a monitoring service?
The USPTO can sometimes overlook similar registered marks. Keep in mind that humans (i.e., trademark examining attorneys) are the ones reviewing trademark applications and determining their outcomes. A monitoring service might catch trademark filings that fell through the cracks of the USPTO trademark examination process.
What can you do to block others from registering a similar trademark?
You may be able to file a protest if the trademark application has not yet been published for opposition. If a trademark application is currently in the publication window, you can file a notice of opposition. If an application has already passed its publication period, you will need to wait for the application to register at which point you may file a cancellation action.
Beware of trademark scams and solicitations
The USPTO has issued this warning on trademark monitoring and document filing companies. Beware of scam documents that look official or try to sound like they’re coming from the USPTO. If your trademark registration is being handled by our firm, we will send you timely reminders of forthcoming deadlines.