When new clients ask me about what they should do to fully protect and guard their brand, I point them to the five most common habits of a successful trademark client:
- They don’t delay. They file early and they file often. If they’ve got a new name, they move quickly to apply for it and start the process because they know that delay can harm the process and harm their ability to protect or use that name.
- They file not only for names, they file for logos and slogans, and other indicators of source. Sometimes those could even be sounds or nontraditional trademarks. So they don’t focus only on names, they focus on all the things that help create their brand that could be protected as trademarks to maximize the protection.
- They stay on top of their renewals. They know when the renewals are coming up because they docket the deadlines, and then they act quickly when it’s time to file a renewal because they don’t want to jeopardize losing a registration. Losing a registration can sometimes be overcome, but it’s costly and it’s risky because in trademarks the past history is extremely valuable so you never want to lose the history of a registration if you don’t have to.
- They move quickly when there are possible infringement situations. They don’t delay because the longer another company might be using your brand name or infringing on it without permission, the longer that they go about doing it, the more invested in it they’re going to become and the more likely they are to fight for it. So not only does the passage of time potentially harm your legal case, but as a practical matter, it means that it’s more likely that the other side is going to dig in and therefore make it more contentious, make it more expensive, make it more cumbersome to resolve and deal with.
- Finally, the fifth and probably most important attribute that I’ve seen among these most successful clients is that they don’t do the trademark work themselves. Even if they don’t use me, I’m happy as long as they use an expert, someone to guide them through the process.