Last weekend the Wall Street Journal published a front page story about competing towns in North Dakota that both claim to be the geographic center of North America.
Part of the story relates to trademarks, and a trademark registration that was not renewed, opening the door for someone else to seek registration of the mark. Even if the second filer may not be entitled to registration, it could cost the original registrant a great deal of time and money to resolve the situation.
If the Rugby, ND chamber of commerce had not let its registrations with the USPTO lapse, perhaps Robinson, ND would not have invested in trying to use the phrase, as the article states they checked the USPTO records.
At issue now is not only the trademark registration, and the costs that may come with a trademark dispute, but the tourism and marketing benefits that flow from using the “Geographical Center” slogan.
In short, make sure your registration renewal dates are docketed properly, and that the USPTO has a proper and valid email address on file.
Bonus tip: track your applications and registrations via Softmware® at www.softmware.com.
For the full article see: North Dakota Bar Owner Pulls Off a Monumental Coup (WSJ)