5 Tips for Avoiding Common Trademark Mistakes

Failing to follow certain trademark registration best practices could increase the time and money you'll spend on protecting your trademark.

When we meet with clients, we try to convey five relatively simple tips for avoiding common trademark pitfalls.

Notably, failing to follow any of these best practices could increase the chances that you’ll have to spend additional time, money, and energy on registering or protecting your brand in the long run:

  1. Choose a creative name that isn’t overly boring, descriptive, or generic. The best kinds of trademarks are suggestive in nature.
  2. Conduct a full trademark search using TESS and other resources to ensure your brand name is unique. Otherwise you may end up on the other end of a trademark infringement lawsuit.
  3. Register your trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. While unregistered marks may be protected as common law trademarks, registration with the USPTO is the only way to protect your brand at the national level.
  4. Contest and resolve any cases of potential trademark infringement as soon as possible. Waiting to contest an infringing brand could weaken your infringement claim.
  5. Hire an attorney to perform steps #2, #3, and #4. While you can certainly complete all of these steps yourself, an experienced attorney can give you peace of mind in knowing that your case is being handled in the most efficient possible manner.

Remember, trademark law is a complex and ever-evolving grey area where complicated disputes and large lawsuits are common.

By following these five basic steps, you’ll set yourself (and your business) up for success by making it far less likely for you to accidentally infringe on someone else’s brand or have your brand taken out from under you.

If you have any questions about trademark law or IP law in general, please feel free to call our office at (804) 477-1720 to speak with an attorney today.

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NOTICE: Tingen & Williams is now Tingen Law. Ben Williams now practices at his own firm.