Once you register a trademark, it’s valid for life. After your trademark is registered and active, it cannot be revoked or cancelled. However, even if no one ever uses your trademark again, it does not mean that the registration will be automatic for other parties. If your business name matches the term used to describe your product or service, chances are that that person already owns the trademark.
Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be the case! There are several ways to force a trademark owner to give up their trademarking rights so that others may use it without infringing on their intellectual property rights. When choosing a Restricted Trademark Policy , make sure it fits your company’s needs and objectives before applying for approval (see below).
Why Register a Trademark?
The first step toward formally challenging an asserted Trademark is to register a Trademark . While most people start the process of challenging an existing Trademark by filing a lawsuit or class action, some companies choose to contest the validity of an existing Trademark directly in the court where the Trademark is registered. This allows the company to show that their Trademark is actually valid, and not a random variation that was accidentally registered in their name.
If you begin the process of challenging a Trademark directly in the courts where it’s registered, you could face a lawsuit on the basis of infringement, use, or reproduction. While these are all grounds for a lawsuit, you’ll generally have a bit of flexibility in how you’ll prove your claim since all you have to do is show that someone else’s Trademark is in some way related to your product or service.
How to Apply for Authorized Trademark
Once you have a firm understanding of how to challenge a Trademark in court, you can begin the process of seeking approval for your Trademark on a really important issue: your product name. Trademarks will be approved if the name is not only descriptive but also identifies the goods or services in which the Trademarks are found. You will need toather with an attorney who is familiar with the process of filing a bill of sale, including the required documents and the necessary fees.
If you choose to file a bill of sale yourself, you will need to pay several fees, including the purchase price, transfer taxes, and any applicable legal fees. When filing a bill of sale, you are also required to provide the government with a written statement disassociating your name from your business name.
Why go with a Restricted Trademark Policy
When you select a Restricted Trademark Policy , you are actually asking the Federal Trade Commission to require that you start publishing advertisements using the terms and Conditions of Use ( dumping Ground : How to Disavow a Trademark in Trade) instead of the Words of Use (Welcome to the Wunderland : How to Use the Wunderland Trademark in Your Business).
The Commission has stated that its unwritten rules don’t require the publication of “any specific terms, conditions, or conditions of use with respect to the ad use,” so long as the terms are “reasonable and non-discriminatory”.
Best Practices for Trademark Registration
Here are two best practices for registered Trademarks that you may want to keep in mind as you navigate the process of challenging a Trademark in court: Be specific — When you register a Trademark, you are actually asking the Federal Trade Commission to require you to publish advertisements using the terms and conditions of use that were used to register the Trademark in the first place.
So, be specific in your complaint as to what terms and conditions you want the public to be aware of if they could be construed as having approval of those terms and conditions from the Federal Trade Commission. Include a detailed description of your product or service in the title or description of the Trademark . Keep records — Trademarks are final rulings based on the courts. So, keep records of every instance when you register a Trademark and see the public for what you are receiving: your approval or rejection, the date of the approval or approval alone, etc. This will allow you to dispute the legitimacy of a Trademark in court and track the evolution of your case.
It is important to remember that a Trademark is only valid for as long as it is on the market. Once the Trademark is registered, it cannot be revoked or cancelled. This means that even if no one ever uses your Trademark again, it still doesn’t mean that the registration will be automatic for other parties. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be the case!
There are several ways to force a Trademark owner to give up their trademarking rights so that others may use it without infringing on their intellectual property rights.
When choosing a Restricted Trademark Policy, make sure it fits your company’s needs and objectives before applying for approval.