A recent survey of global companies found that trademark infringement is on the rise. The survey was conducted by Compumark, a leader in trademark research and brand protection solutions. Despite the fact that 80 percent of the executives polled believe that trademark infringement is a growing problem, only fifty percent admitted to having comprehensive trademark watch services in place.
Highlights of the survey include the following:
- 53 percent of respondents reported taking trademark enforcement actions against third-parties
- 34 percent of respondents indicated that their company had to change a name due to possible trademark infringement issues
- Numerous problems have arisen from trademark infringement, including loss of revenue (26 percent) and damage to brand reputation (21 percent)
Trademark Infringement Monitoring
Trademark enforcement strategies begin with best practices. Brand owners and inhouse trademark counsel are advised to incorporate some or all of these tactics into their brand enforcement programs.
Trademark watch. A trademark watch service is a great investment that monitors the USPTO and other national trademark registrars for confusingly similar applications.
Marketplace monitoring. Companies such as Net Names offer brand owners comprehensive brand monitoring tools to notify brand owners when counterfeiters or unauthorized sellers are using a company’s trademarks without permission.
Trademark Opposition. When a third-party applies for an application that is confusingly similar to a company’s brand name, a trademark opposition or cancellation proceeding may be instituted.
Rapid enforcement. Agile enforcement mechanisms such as cease and desist letters, and Amazon or Google takedown notices, can be cost-effective means to stop the unauthorized use of trademarks without the need of filing a trademark infringement lawsuit.
Companies with effective trademark enforcement programs have well-developed plans in place, and constantly review them to ensure that the company’s business priorities are aligned with its brand enforcement budgets and goals.