Protecting your brand online

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Entrepreneurs and businesses: are you being naïve about your online activities? You should have an integrated online brand protection strategy to effectively protect your brand.

Think of the Internet as follows:

1. Search engines: It’s where most prospective customers begin a search for a product or service.  Do you have a strategy that addresses cyber-squatters and counterfeiters that show up next to your website in search results? Don’t assume the prospective customer can tell the difference between your brand, a cyber-squatter or ...

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Trademark Squatters: What They Do and Why It Matters

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Trademark Squatting: Could it happen to you?

As a business owner, you took the time, spent the money, and achieved success!  The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) registered your trademark. Your trademark is protected in the United States!  And only in the United States.  Meanwhile, an unscrupulous, enterprising trademark squatter notices that your trademark is registered in the United States, but it is not registered anywhere else. This trademark squatter files an application to register ...

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Trademark Protection Outside the U.S.

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When deciding whether to extend your trademark protection outside the United States:

Are there foreign countries in which you are currently using your trademark, or likely to be using your mark in the next 1-2 years?

If so, your brand may benefit from filing an individual national application in each country in which you are currently doing business or intend to do so in the near future. Depending on which countries you wish to seek trademark protection, it may make more ...

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Do I need to conduct a trademark clearance search?

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Do I need to conduct a trademark clearance search?

What are the dangers of skipping a trademark clearance search?

You are not required to conduct a trademark clearance search before preparing and filing a trademark application. Is it a good idea to do so?  Absolutely! A trademark clearance search identifies potential conflicts your application could encounter when the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) reviews it and decides whether or not to approve it. It also allows a trademark attorney ...

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Opposition Proceeding: When to Oppose the Registration of a Trademark

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Opposition Proceeding: When to Oppose the Registration of a Trademark

If you are a trademark owner who monitors your trademark portfolio, you are likely paying attention to applications filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). You want to ensure that no applicant attempts to register a trademark you believe to be confusingly similar to your own trademark. Perhaps a competitor is looking to register a merely descriptive or generic term that you believe should be available for ...

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Trademark: From Application to (Opposition) to Registration

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Trademark: From Application to (Opposition) to Registration

We previously published posts on trademark selection and preparing and filing trademark applications. When looking to adopt a trademark, it is best for the mark to be fanciful, arbitrary, or at the very least suggestive, with reference to your goods and/or services. When undertaking the trademark selection process, do your research and avoid selecting marks that could be considered similar to another mark already in use, in your same industries in particular. ...

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Have you ever had a (Famous) Popsicle?

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Have you ever had a Popsicle?  Are you *sure*?  The word “Popsicle” is a registered trademark of Conopco, Inc. (doing business as Unilever Bestfoods North America). So, unless you are eating a Unilever popsicle, it is just a “pop” or an “ice pop”; we know, explain that to your seven-year-old, who asks you for a popsicle.

Genericide” occurs when a trademark becomes so popular and its use so pervasive with reference to certain goods that the general public ...

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How Creative Are You: Trademarks and Taglines

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Does your business have a tagline? need a new tagline? Just how creative are you?

Taglines are powerful branding tools worth protecting. The good ones, that is. Whatever stage your business — start-up, growing, leading — a good tagline helps prospective customers/clients remember your brand.  Make sure your tagline is creative, or in official trademark-ese: “inherently distinctive.”

A tagline that is creative or “inherently distinctive” is eligible for registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  Famous examples of creative or ...

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Be the Mark You Wish to See in the World

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What you need. What we know.™ – Trademarks: Selection Matters​

When an existing or prospective client tells me they have a business/product/mobile app name that they want to trademark, I am happy to hear that they are thinking about their trademark rights and building their trademark portfolios. 

Too often, however, when I hear the name, I repress a groan. It’s descriptive. Yes, it clearly communicates what they do/provide/have built, but it is bland, uninteresting, and safe.  In particular, if the business is a start-up ...

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