The following is a transcript of a video, which you can watch here.

Over the years, I’ve been involved in many disputes over trademarks on behalf of clients, as both the complaining party and the responding party, as negotiator, as litigant, and much, much more. Besides choosing a bold and creative brand name, there’s one thing, one very important thing, that brand owners can do to help avoid such disputes and help make them go away quicker, and easier, and cheaper in general. That key thing is to keep solid trademark records.

Now, what do I mean by this? I mean keeping a file with some important documentation. It’s not exhaustive, it’s not a tremendous amount of work, and it does go a long way in helping when disputes come up.

So, keep a record of when you create a name, or when you created the name, if it was in the past. Keep a record of when you searched the name, or where you searched the name, or who searched the name. Keep a record of when you first started using the name internally to talk about the project that it’s involved in. Keep a record of when you first started to use the name commercially with customers. And of course, keep records of your filings with the Patent and Trademark Office. Those filings are in the public records, so that one is not nearly as burdensome. But it’s important to keep these records related to your trademark’s history and use, because in any trademark dispute, the history is very important. The more easily and the more substantially you can document that history, the better footing you’re on in resolving such a dispute.

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