How Do I Trademark My Business Name and Logo
The fifth and final step in the E5 Trademark System is enforcing your mark. Enforcement can be kind of complex, but it really breaks down into possibly three actions. You may wonder why not skip actions one and two and move to action which is Litigation But typically your enforcement process will take three distinct steps.
Step one is Notice. That’s where you simply make the person or party that is using your mark (or something that’s confusingly similar to it) aware that you actually have a trademark — especially if you have a registered US Trademark.
The second step is a Cease and Desist letter. So usually in my experience the majority of the time that you give someone Notice an opportunity to quit using the mark that you already have, they’ll stop. But sometimes they don’t and when they don’t you gotta let them know that you’re serious. This usually involves the Cease and Desist letter which takes their mark puts it up next to yours. and makes it crystal clear that their mark is similar to yours. And, if you have specific examples of somebody being confused (a consumer being confused) you let them know one of your examples (not always your best but usually it is going to be your best example that you lead with). Because the trademark system it’s not about protecting your mark — it’s about protecting the consumer – and preventing them from getting confused. So you want to have a Cease and Desist Letter that you’re proud to put in front of a judge.
The third action is Litigation. Now not to be too complex here but, by the way, litigation in case you don’t know is a lawsuit. But sometimes what you’ll see some people with trademarks do is they actually will go ahead and file a trademark lawsuit before sending a cease and desist letter, but they don’t formally begin it [the lawsuit] by serving process on the other party. They just go ahead and file it [the lawsuit] and this kind of emphasizes the seriousness of that Cease and Desist Letter. “Hey we’ve already got a lawsuit filedagainst you — we’re just being nice and You know, formally, but it emphasizes the seriousness of it. But that’s not as common. Usually what you’ll see is the this action sequence: first Notice, second a Cease and Desist Letter, and third and only as a last resort Litigation. And also I’ll add this for websites that have specific branding programs like Amazon and Shopify and eBay: there are procedural requirements both within the court system as well as within these specific “commercial systems” (let’s call them) like Amazon. So to navigate all of these you’ll want to give us a call and then we can help guide you through those. So that not only will you have the registration itself, you’ll be able to maximize the benefits that you get from it. If you have any general questions you can leave them below, but if you have a specific question about your specific situation call me or another trademark attorney and I’ll see you in the next video.
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