May 29, 2024


In this article we will explain further the basics of trademark law.  Of course, if you are athlete or an agency we are available to help secure, protect, and enforce IP rights with legal representation!

The Hallmark of Trademark Protection!   “Use it or lose it.” Use is absolutely essential to establish trademark rights and continued use is necessary to preserve those rights.  You cannot register a trademark simply to exclude others from using it.  You must be using the mark or intending to use the mark at the time of filing.  This is a fundamental difference between trademark law and patent and copyright law. Active policing is essential once trademark rights are obtained.  You must be proactive in identifying others who may be using your trademark on social media or any other advertising media, whether accidental or intentional.

Enforcement/Relief/Remedies - While “use” of a trademark is key to its protection and enforcement, policing for unauthorized use of your brand is essential to maintaining your rights and avoiding potential claims of abandonment. There is, however, no absolute duty todo so. However, it is good business practice to survey for and monitor unauthorized or unadvertised uses of your brand. Keep in mind, failure to take action for widespread infringement could negatively impact a trademark owner’s rights, leaving the mark open to claims of abandonment. The goal of enforcement is always to stop unauthorized uses of your mark. Injunctions are commonly awarded. In some cases, monetary damages may be awarded in the form of lost profits, reasonable royalties, attorney’s fees and costs.

Take-Down Procedures - Online selling platforms, for example, provide easy access to market your branded goods. They are also a breeding ground for counterfeit goods and/or unauthorized uses of your trademark. Some online selling platforms offer procedures to report inappropriate listings, other sellers, and policy violations and to register your brand. Through brand registry, a trademark owner can report violations and monitor its own and a platform’s efforts to detect violations and protect a brand before negative impacts are felt.

Social Media and its Effects - Social media sites will likely play a role in marketing and selling your brand.  Social media provides an outlet for real-time advertising.  Before advertising on social media, it is important to register your trademarks as profiles and accounts on all social media networks ahead of time.  Reserving your trademarks as names on social medial networks is important even if you don’t plan to use your trademarks on social media.  

Domain Names: Registering trademarks provides the trademark owner with an edge if a dispute about domain names arises.  A registered trademark is evidence of your exclusive right to the trademark as a domain name and will be favorably considered in a dispute.  

 NILegally Speaking™ is written by PowerNIL/Ken Feinberg, attorney, in collaboration with other expert attorneys focused on employment, labor, contract, and intellectual property law.                                                                                                                                

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