The following is an edited transcript of my video The Benefits of Trademark Monitoring.
Trademark monitoring is a tremendous tool in the toolkit for brand owners. Once you have an established, protected brand, there are benefits to staying on top of it and dealing with any infringement that might come up as quickly as possible. Traditionally, big, established, wealthy brands found out about all the things out there that might be problems with their trademarks by paying for monitoring services. These services used to be quite expensive, but they have come down in price dramatically because of all the wonderful online search tools that are available.
Monitoring is a regular check for possibly infringing brands. There could be different scopes. It could be looking everywhere on the internet for domain names, all kinds of databases, including the USPTO. Or it could be more limited, sometimes there would be a benefit in just searching the USPTO records.
The earlier you act, the far better chance you have of getting the other business to make a change, make an adjustment, drop their plans without a significant dispute. From their perspective, once they’re a 1-2 years into building their business, generating revenue and having customers, it’s much more difficult to disconnect from a brand, even if it is a problem in terms of the trademark and a possible infringement. It’s much more difficult practically, and the business owner is likely to be much more financially and emotionally invested in it. That’s why catching it quickly is important, and that’s why monitoring is important and valuable.
If you’re interested in monitoring, look into services that will generate reports for you. Many law firms will generate reports for you with a summary of what they found using a database specialist that goes out and every month, crawls the databases, highlights findings. You want to ideally have an attorney reviewing those findings so they can discuss anything that’s worth considering taking action and taking it from there. We’ve begun offering monitoring to our clients, because we have had so many requests for it. We’re already seeing the benefits and ramifications after beginning to monitor for just a handful of clients. There may be a tremendous value for your brand as well. Check out our monitoring page to learn more.