Registering and maintaining a trademark is expensive, and you don’t want to lose your trademark over something that is preventable. Keeping your brand reputable is time consuming and, also expensive. You are putting time and money into your brand, and these three mistakes may cause you to lose your trademark.
1. You can lose your trademark if your non registered trademark is similar to a federally registered trademark.
If you have a non registered trademark and you are, say a little cupcake shop in Michigan, and you only plan to sell cupcakes in your city in Michigan, then you probably don’t have to register your trademark. But, if you want to sell your cupcakes nationally, and federally register your trademark, you’ll have to make sure that another company has not already used your trademark or something similar. Otherwise, you may lose your trademark.
If you want to learn the basics of a trademark and the benefits of registering your trademark, check out this post.
2.You can lose your trademark if you think that you have a trademark because you registered a domain name with a hosting service.
Just because you have a domain name does not mean that you have a trademark. Not only that, but if someone who holds the trademark that is similar or the same as your domain name may sue you for trademark infringement. If the trademark owner wins, then you’ll likely have to relinquish that domain name.
3.You can lose your trademark if you abandon the trademark, knowingly or unknowingly.
According to §15 USC 1127, you have “abandoned” your mark if:
(a) You have stopped using the mark and there is no intention to USE the trademark again. “Use” of a mark means you are using the mark to sell goods/services. You are not “using” a mark, if you are merely reserving the mark. If you don’t use the trademark for 3 consecutive years, there is a presumption of abandonment. The USPTO or federal judges will infer the intent not to resume under certain circumstances
(b) When any course of conduct of the owner, including acts of omission as well as commission, causes the mark to become the generic name for the goods or services on or in connection with which it is used or otherwise to lose its significance as a mark. For example, if the inventor of the vacuum trademarked “vacuum”, and the owner of the vacuum trademark did not do anything to keep this trademark from being generally associated with a machine that sucks up dirt. Since the owner did not stop his invention from becoming a generic term, the USPTO will likely no longer protect it under the Federal Lanham Act.
If you need help with registering your federal trademark, you can schedule a Clarity Call today.