Following a client’s trademark registration, Indie Law takes care of monitoring the procedure for a year. After a year of these services, one is left to maintain their brand through their own monitoring methods.

It is important to highlight that owning a trademark consists of having a set of rights over one’s brand so it can remain protected in a legal manner. A trademark is like having a fence around your home;the trademark represents the house while the fence serves as the security instrument to protect it. Owning a trademark gives an individual the power to decide who can use it and how one’s brand is portrayed.. This concept of enforcing and maintaining one’s trademark benefits the owner of the brand, as they will be aware of its usage, whether done correctly or not. 

But what is the monitoring? 

Monitoring is doing your best to find information about how people could be using your trademark. 
This consists of looking for similar trademarks to know if someone is using your product or your slogan in the same way you do.
It is an exhaustive task and that is why people hire agencies to do it.
These agencies are in charge of looking all over the market for possible infringements of your trademark and  conduct a risk analysis after doing so.
If there is no threat following a year of monitoring, you will be told that your brand and trademark are safe.

And what you can do?

The easiest thing to do: Google your trademark to see if anyone is using it in any way.
In the instance of trademark misusage, one can send a letter to the individual/company utilizing one’s brand or reach out to a lawyer.
While Google is the quicker route to take in order to monitor one’s brand, the USPTO provides extensive information on whether someone is attempting to register a mark that resembles yours.
The best course of action consists of involving a legal specialist if someone is nearing the terms of your trademark in order to handle it and also provide preventative measures.
Enforcement will always be more effective when you act with a legal specialist, because you can reach agreements with the party that is infringing on your trademark.

What can you do if your trademark has been using the same formula for years and you haven’t registered it?

Our advice is to register it as soon as possible so that nobody copies your way of working and you can have enforcement over your trademark.
Most of existing brands did not register their trademark initially, but it is advisable to do as soon as possible to avoid potential conflict.
If someone is using the same name or slogan as your bran, we recommend that you investigate the scope of their brand to know of the risk your brand may face. 
Not only should one negotiate, but also know their competitor’s brand in order to avoid losing one’s trademark formula.
Because there is a difference in trademarks and whether they are registered on a state level or a federal level, it is to one’s advantage to utilize the skills of a lawyer.

Do you know the reach of a federal trademark?

When one applies and registers for a trademark, they will be protected nationally in the United States for 50 years. You must renew this registration every 10 years, as this is part of the monitoring process. It is important to know that the federal trademark and the state trademarks can coexist and that each state has its own regulation.

However, don’t be fooled! Trademark is an international matter and, although many companies come to register in the United States, they also have rights over their trademark in their home countries. The only advantage one business can have over the other is time.