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Trademark Monitoring

Trademark Monitoring

Business Law Attorney Briana Roberton specializes in helping you to protect your business so that you can continue conducting business in confidence. One very important step in doing this is trademarking your brand which we have talked about a number of times in other blog posts. However, now we need to discuss trademark monitoring and defense. You may be wondering what brought about this topic besides its obvious importance to your brand. Recently, Louis Vuitton, a designer handbag brand, filed a lawsuit against an Atlanta flea market claiming millions of dollars in damages because they created a safe space for vendors to sell counterfeit or ‘knock-off’ Louis Vuitton bags as well as other name brand bags. Louis Vuitton is a trademarked brand and these vendors are selling a counterfeit version of the trademarked product, this is trademark infringement. Louis Vuitton is claiming they have sent them several cease and desist letters and notices letting them know about the sale of these counterfeit bags and has repeatedly asked them to stop allowing the sale of these bags to go on. The flea market in Atlanta has failed to take heed of the cease and desists received or any other notices and has still allowed all these different vendors to sell their counterfeit bags. Louis Vuitton claims it has cost them millions of dollars in damages because they’re selling their bags essentially, which are actually counterfeit and not the real product. This could cause damage to Louis Vuitton’s reputation and is considered to be a case of trademark infringement.

What qualifies this as trademark infringement?

Louis Vuitton has their brand of bags trademarked, these people are selling counterfeit bags, which are essentially a counterfeit of their trademark. Selling a counterfeit product of a trademarked product is an infringement upon their trademark and opens the door for them to seek damages, which is exactly what they are doing. What we can take away from the example of the Louis Vuitton lawsuit is that we need to be trademark monitoring our business. As you see the big brand names are monitoring their trademarks and small businesses with trademarks need to be doing the same. This is to protect your brand from being infringed upon. Meaning there isn’t someone out there making a counterfeit of your product or an exact replica of it and calling it their own or representing it as something that it is not. This is the whole idea of trademark monitoring. There could be brands out there similar to yours and that is why you should be trademark monitoring. To ensure that they are not infringing upon your brand and making it confusingly similar to yours. Monitoring will allow you to find any possible trademark infringements and bring legal action against them a lot quicker to stop them. On the other hand, if you are a business that has a trademark but does not monitor it then there could be a number of different brands forming that are similar to yours or exactly like yours. This then dilutes the market of your brand, therefore making your brand less unique. The less unique your brand is the harder it is going to be to enforce that trademark. This is why trademark monitoring is so important. Without monitoring the trademark you are essentially allowing other brands or marks similar to yours or counterfeits of yours to come into the market, diluting it, and rendering your brand less unique and harder to defend. When businesses fail to monitor their trademarks and the market begins to become flooded like this it can render your trademark almost useless. Another reason you want to be monitoring your trademark is to ensure there aren’t others out there misusing your trademark and negatively impacting or ruining your brand’s reputation. Essentially your trademark is your brand and your brand is your company and your reputation. So, if others start putting out similar items or counterfeit items of the same products as your brand it will become more difficult for people to tell the difference between the real product which is your brand, and the others. This can not only dilute the market but if these counterfeits are putting out poor quality products, people may begin associating them with your brand, and in turn, that can really hurt or even ruin your brand’s reputation. This is why monitoring your trademark and taking action quickly against anyone trying to infringe on your brand is so important.

What does taking action against trademark infringement look like?

One form of action that can be taken is sending out cease and desist letters and other written notices informing the offending party that they are infringing on your brand. If the infringement does not stop or is serious enough from the start take the next step of filing a lawsuit against them and seek out compensation for your damages. It is important to note that the longer you allow these infringements to sit out there without taking action against them the harder it is to defend your brand.

How can you do trademark monitoring for your brand?

One way to monitor your trademark is to continually check the USPTO database or any new applications that may be filed that is similar to yours. This is so that you can be on notice of opposition to the trademark actually being registered because of its similarity to yours. Another way to do this is by monitoring the trademark gazette for any brands being published for registration. If you find a trademark seeking registration that is similar to your brand you should file an opposition to this as soon as possible so a notice will be sent that you’re opposing their trademark registration. One other monitoring technique for your trademark is doing a basic internet search through a search engine and social media to see if you find anyone else using your brand or something similar. If you do in fact find someone who is using your brand or something similar make sure you then send cease and desist letters out. As entrepreneurs, you can get very busy with the many different moving parts of your business. However, ignoring these types of things can be detrimental to your business and its growth. As mentioned before the longer you wait to file or attempt to fight an infringement upon your brand the harder it is to defend it and therefore stop them from continuing to infringe upon your trademark. Due to many business owners being exceptionally busy with day-to-day operations and limited time to research and complete trademark monitoring, they will hire an attorney who specializes in trademark law. Most attorneys like Briana Robertson who specialize in trademark law offer packages that include monitoring. In addition to monitoring your trademark for any possible infringements, they will also send cease and desist letters on your behalf if any possible infringements are found.

Schedule a Consultation

Are you looking to trademark a brand? Do you need assistance in trademark monitoring? The Law Office of Briana C. Robertson is here to help you protect your business. Offering trademark packages to get your trademark registered and to help you monitor your trademark along the way are only a few services she offers.

Contact the office or schedule a consultation today!


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