New Year’s Resolution: Trademark Review and PlanningDecember 29, 2016

2017 is fast approaching, which means one thing: It is time to select, and soon start implementing, your new year’s resolution! For most businesses, there are few resolutions better than those designed to help protect the company’s valuable intellectual property. Accordingly, consider making the review and maintenance of your company’s trademark portfolio this year’s resolution.

One of the best ways to implement such a resolution is by assessing the accuracy of your trademark portfolio. To do this, it is first important to look at the trademark registrations themselves in comparison to the actual use of the marks. Ask yourself whether each mark’s usage (say, in advertising or packaging) reflects the mark as registered. If a mark is being used in a manner that departs from its registration (say, by using a different spelling), you will likely want to take further steps to ensure its protection.

Furthermore, as various elements of trademark registrations may change from year to year, you will want to ensure the continued accuracy of your registrations as they relate to things such as geographic scope and ownership, as well the goods and/or services for which the marks relate. For instance, if a trademark is being used in more countries or in connection with different goods and services than when it was registered, it is worth considering additional filings to reflect such changes. 

In addition to reviewing your current portfolio of registered trademarks, the new year is a good time to look towards the future. As part of your new year’s resolution, it is worth considering any new marks you or your company have started using or plan on using and deciding whether or not to pursue formal legal protection for such marks.

Taking simple steps such as these is an easy new year’s resolution that will help put you and your business in a good position to have a successful 2017!

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