October 2020
I have learned so much - about trademarks, about businesses, about being an entrepreneur, about branding and marketing, and much more - in more than 20 years of working with clients to build and protect brands. Watch the brief video below for more about what I've learned and what has changed - and what hasn't -since I began the practice in late 1999.

What I've Learned in 20 Years of Trademarks
What I've Learned in 20 Years of Trademarks

Trademark Registration is Better Late Than Never

It is never to late to try to take advantage of the many benefits of USPTO trademark registration. Even a business that has been operating for years without a trademark registration would generally benefit from trying to enhance the protection for the brand by finally registering it.
Ideally, a business should protect its trademarks from the outset, filing as the brand launches or even earlier based on an intent-to-use the mark. However, if that opportunity has passed, it is still tremendously valuable to seek registration of a trademark, whether it has been in use one year, five years, or 10 years, because having the trademark registered prior to a future infringement or dispute is really the key.
Why is registering a trademark important, whether it's before a brand launches or years after?
  • Because appearing in the USPTO database could prevent future brands from adopting a similar name at any time.
  • Because blocking domain names or social media names could always be useful, especially as new ones are introduced.
  • Because a trademark registration creates a valuable, tangible asset that can be transferred or used as a security interest.

3 Reasons to Check Trademark Registration Renewal Deadlines Now
A coming increase in USPTO filing fees and constant scams are a couple of the reasons why trademark owners ought to check renewal dates. Listen to this recent podcast episode for more details:

Despite pandemic, filings have increased in 2020

"Despite the health, social, business, and economic of the COVID-19 pandemic for the last six months, the number of trademark application filings has actually increased at the USPTO compared with 2019. The USPTO Director noted in a recent speech that "Through the end of August 2020, trademark filings are 3.2% above filings for the same period last year and are slightly higher than we expected. In fact, August 2020 is our biggest filing month yet." See Remarks by Director Iancu at the Intellectual Property Owners Association's 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting.

Brand are not going anywhere despite all the challenges. Existing businesses are investing in the future, and new businesses are cropping up in record numbers as well.

Unfortunately the scammers are still out there mailing (and emailing, and texting) trademark applicants and registrants. This article from World Trademark Review, which quoted me, says it all: 

Scams and spam: USPTO users face epidemic of spurious communications

Trademark owners need to be more vigilant than ever looking for scammers. We will continue to call out scammers, and call on USPTO & other agencies to do more to combat them See http://isthisatrademarkscam.com for all our posts and videos on the scam topic.

If there are any topics or issues you would like to see covered here, let us know!

This publication has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of the firm. It is not intended to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter. Under rules applicable to the professional conduct of attorneys in various jurisdictions, it may be considered advertising material.

© 2020 Erik M. Pelton & Associates, PLLC.