Blog

Tip: Trademark and Copyright Audit

Posted by ipelton on: April 7th, 2010

Do you know if all your business’ brands are properly used, protected, and registered?  Are you sure that each potentially valuable trademark has been identified (such as blog and website titles, re-designed logos, new product offerings)?  Have you ensured that contracts and webpages add to your protection instead of poking holes in that protection?

An annual trademark and copyright audit is the solution to stay on top of your trademark needs. Once you recognize that your company’s intellectual property is among its most valuable assets, conducting such an audit is preventive maintenance to help avoid costly breakdowns (gaps) in protections.  A trademark and copyright audit includes an in-depth review of the legal and marketing picture surrounding your businesses’ intellectual property.

A thorough audit could cover:
– proper usage of trademark symbols in advertising and packaging
– registration and renewal of all brand names, slogans and logos
– identify new brands that can be leveraged into tangible intellectual property
– placement of proper copyright and trademark notices on website
– inclusion of proper copyright and trademark clauses in contracts with employees, contractors, clients, and more
– set up free and easy monitoring of trademarks
– placement of proper copyright notice on materials
– ensure registration of essential copyrights
– review insurance policy for intellectual property coverage
– insure proper handling intellectual property created in partnership with others
– insure proper treatment of intellectual property assets purchased from others
– protection of domain names
– create usage guidelines for employees and contractors
– determine whether protection of trademarks outside the U.S. is needed

Why is such an audit so valuable?
– prevents unintended lapses in protection
– guards against unexpected liabilities for trademark situations
– guards against devaluation of trademarks
– a failure to police and enforce trademark rights can damage or destroy the value of a brand
– useful for developing or updating strategic plans related to new products or services or extensions of product lines
– allows maximization of the benefit your company receives from its trademarks and copyrights
– helps educate employees about the company’s trademarks and copyrights

Tip: If you have never had a trademark and copyright audit performed, what are you waiting for?  Contact me for details if you are interested, or stay tuned for further posts about this new service offering from Erik M. Pelton & Associates, PLLC.

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