With all the automated and low cost systems for searching and filing a trademark, they can appear “confusingly simple.” The automated tools make it so easy for anyone to fill in a few blanks and complete an application for Federal registration of a trademark. If you’re lucky, the application will sail through the Patent and Trademark Office and around a year later, a Certificate of Registration will show up in your mailbox.
Not everyone realizes, however, that the content that you put in those blanks will determine whether or not your certificate is worth the paper upon which it is printed. Worse yet, a problematic registration may not appear subject to attack until far into the future, when you seek to enforce or defend your trademark rights. For instance, do you know how crucial the “date of first use” and “date of first use in commerce” is, and that you will need to have proof of that use if your registration ever becomes subject to scrutiny? Is the mark registered in the proper owner’s name? If you need to transfer it to a new owner, do you have a paper trail documenting the changes in ownership?
I work with clients to make sure that their initial trademark applications are accurate, so that their registrations will appropriately protect their business or product names or slogans. When necessary, my firm can initiate cancellation actions and send cease and desist letters to parties that are infringing on my clients’ rights or preventing them from obtaining registration of a mark.