Erosion of your trademarks may start slowly, but it can quickly snowball. Before you’re aware of the severity of the threat, your marks may become ‘generic’ and increasingly difficult to protect.
One of the greatest challenges of trademark practice is that brand owners can sometimes view trademark watching as a ‘nice to have’ rather than the essential practice that it is. It can be a tough pill to swallow that after all the expense and resources poured into creating the perfect brand and attaining a registration, you need to invest further resources into protecting it.
Read on to learn about the threat of trademark erosion and how this can be countered with comprehensive trademark watching.
The importance of trademark watching during product launches
The launch of a new brand or product is a very busy time at any company. Internal pressures to get your new trademark to market can overtake more mundane concerns. Nonetheless, watching your trademarks for potentially infringing applications is more important than you might imagine.
In many regions, the onus is on the owner of a trademark to monitor applications for potential conflicts and the courts may consequently have little sympathy for a trademark owner who finds their rights eroded. Understanding how your rights might possibly be eroded over time is critical in assessing how important trademark watching might be to securing the success of your business into the future.
Trademark erosion through the registration of similar marks
While you are busy leveraging value from your brand in the marketplace, others are busy in that marketplace, too. Over time, a number of applications for trademarks that may be similar to yours in varying degrees might be successful in achieving registration. By the time you become aware of a registration that presents a serious threat, the scope of protection that you had obtained is smaller than it once was.
At the time that you applied for your trademark, it was sufficiently unique in the marketplace to serve to identify your company as the source of the goods or services offered. As the number of similar trademarks have been successfully registered over time, your trademark is no longer so unique. And therefore, no longer easily protected.
In those circumstances, when you file an opposition against a potentially confusing application, the other registrations provide grounds for a robust defense for the other party. There are already similar trademarks registered for the same or similar goods and services, so why not theirs?
Trademark erosion is one of the ways in which your trademark might eventually become ‘generic’. This means that due to constant and widespread use in relation to a particular good or service, it is no longer protectable.
Mastering brand protection: trademark watching and the dual approach
Our on-demand webinar explores the transformative potential of our leading Trademark Watching Solutions from both sides of the coin: from fortifying your trademark portfolio to safeguarding your brand.
Expert-led and AI-driven watches form Corsearch’s winning combination, allowing trademark professionals to swiftly find global filings and publications of marks that may be confusingly similar. Watch our webinar to learn how you can get the best of both AI and human analysts through rapid, relevant watch notifications that cut through the noise.
What you’ll learn:
- How watching fits into the brand protection ecosystem
- The features of our collaborative watching solutions
- Why expert analysts +TrademarkNow’s AI = the perfect defense
- How and when to use AI-powered watching solutions
- How to block out noise in your watch notices