Category: Trademark Enforcement

Web Defense Systems works with IP attorneys to perform multiple types of trademark enforcement for our clients. Our surveillance of the internet includes us looking for:

1) The unauthorized use of our clients’ trademarks in 3rd party marketing;
2) Marks that are similar to our clients’ marks, whether standard character (words) or special form (images);
3) Counterfeit products (knockoffs) bearing our clients’ trademarks;
4) Domain names similar to our clients’ trademarks (domain squatting or cybersquatting);
5) Trademark applications and office actions with the USPTO and WIPO;
6) Search engine bidding by 3rd parties using our clients’ trademarks.

In addition to locating these types of infringements, we provide detailed reports to our clients and their IP attorneys. These reportsare much more than just automated searches. Rather, the reports Web Defense Systems’ provides include a thorough examination of each of our findings, both organized into categories and prioritized based on the likelihood of the finding posing a serious problem. And our analysis of each finding will always be substantiated with hard data.

While the articles below are by no means an exhaustive explanation of trademark law, these articles do serve as a broad guide to explaining the rationale behind the actions Web Defense Systems performs on behalf of our clients. (Except as otherwise noted and in the document tiled International Trademark Law, these documents refer specifically to trademark law in the United States).

Basic Explanation of Trademarks

In layman’s terms, a trademark (or service mark) is a word, phrase, or image that is distinctive to a company or individual and can therefore be used to distinguish the company or individual from others in the market. Via trademark protection laws, a company or individual can prevent others from using its trademark.

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Trademark Applications: The Principal Register

While it’s not technically necessary to file a trademark application with the USPTO in order to protect your company’s trademark, a successful filing in the Principal Register does generate a plethora of benefits. Chief among them is the ability to sue in federal court.

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Trademark Classes (Categories)

Even when a company’s mark is successfully placed in the Principal Register, the company does NOT have the exclusive right to use the mark throughout the entire business world. Rather, trademarks are awarded only for a specific class (category) of business.

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How Long Does a Trademark Registration Last?

In regards to the length of time a trademark lasts (the term of the trademark), trademarks should FIRST be renewed after the initial five year term with the USPTO,

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Proper Trademark Notice – TM, SM, and R

If you look closely at advertisements, signs, and/or the packaging of many products, you’ll often notice very small versions of the letters TM or the letter R (inside a circle) immediately after companies’ logos or slogans. There is a key difference between the two.

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Trademark Searching

Before filing a trademark application for their client, most intellectual property lawyers will recommend their client hire a specialist to perform a detailed clearance search. These reports are a specialty of  Web Defense Systems, as our reports are quite unique (see our Trademark Protection page for details). Clearance searches are reports that determine what marks […]

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Trademark Infringement: A Civil Matter

Like copyright infringement, trademark infringement is usually a civil matter, not a criminal one. So while the USPTO does have lawyers responding to trademark applications, the government does not have agents searching for trademark infringement and arresting / prosecuting such individuals. Fortunately, that kind of work is exactly what Web Defense Systems specializes in:

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International Trademark Law

From a global perspective and in the same respect as copyrights, there is not a single method of securing a trademark that protects a company’s mark in every country around the globe in the same way. However, unlike copyrights, there is something closer to an international trademark system, the Madrid System for the International Registration […]

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Other Facts about Trademarks

In addition to words, phrases, images, or combinations of the three, other types of trademarks can cover colors, smells, and sounds. Even “Trade Dress” can be trademarked.

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Disclaimer: We are not lawyers, and the purpose of the information within these documents is not to provide legal advice. Rather, the purpose of these documents is to explain the rationale behind some of the actions that Web Defense Systems takes on behalf of our clients. The field of anti-trust law is quite complicated and has changed greatly in recent years, so the following information is not legal advice and it should not be used as such.