Whether you just formed your business, or your company is well-established, it is important that you develop a trademark plan. Having practiced intellectual property and trademark law for over twenty years, I highly recommend this as early as possible in your business venture. Your plan will evolve but you definitely want a carefully charted course to protect your brand strategy.
A trademark plan is an outline of your brands and a roadmap for protecting those brands domestically and internationally. The plan starts with identifying names, logos, taglines, and/or trade dress that you want to protect. Think in terms of the elements of your brand package that are unique to your business and distinctive.
A trademark plan typically involves a discussion with the company’s executive management, marketing team, and product/service teams, along with trademark counsel. The goal is to identify those marks that the company believes are unique and distinctive, and then establish a plan for protecting them.
The 10 steps for developing a trademark plan are to:
- Identify the company’s trademarks, logos, taglines, and product and service names
- Determine which marks you want to protect through registration; this involves looking closely at how you plan to use those marks in commerce
- Narrow the current and future scope of registration including its products and services, so you know which classes of goods and services will be involved
- Select the countries in which your company is going to file for registration
- Perform a trademark search by country
- Adjust your brand strategy and trademarks based on the search results
- File the trademark applications
- Track progress toward registration and navigate issues that arise in the examination process
- Monitor your company’s use of its trademarks and third party’s use ; last but not least,
- Enforce your trademark rights where appropriate
Ted D. Karr, Managing
Over the next 10 weeks we are going to explore each of these steps in more detail, offering a roadmap for preparing and implementing an effective trademark plan.
If you don’t want to wait 10 weeks
or you would like to speak with a trademark attorney now, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call:
503-439-6500 or 512-920-1899.
We would be happy to provide guidance.