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Top Trademark Mistakes to Avoid: Protect Your Brand and Business

Businesses and individuals should be aware of common trademark mistakes, in order to avoid potential legal issues. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the top trademark mistakes to avoid, and provide guidance on effectively protecting your brand and business.


1. Inaccurate Trademark Usage:

One of the most common trademark mistakes is the improper usage of either the trademark itself or the trademark symbols. Using a trademark as a generic term or failing to use proper trademark symbols can weaken the distinctiveness of the mark and even lead to its loss. For instance, “Kleenex” has become rather generic for facial tissues. Ensure that you use trademarks accurately and consistently (“Kleenex brand facial tissue”), and display proper trademark symbols (™ or ®) to indicate ownership.



2. Failure to Conduct Comprehensive Trademark Searches:

Be sure to conduct a thorough trademark search before adopting a new mark. Neglecting this step can result in unintentional infringement and potential legal battles. Engage professionals to run and analyze a comprehensive search for you, or utilize online databases and trademark registries to ensure the mark you intend to use is not already used or registered by someone else in a similar industry.



3. Inadequate Trademark Registration:

Relying solely on “common law” rights without federal or international trademark registration is another common mistake. Federal registration offers significant benefits, including nationwide protection, statutory damages, and the ability to prevent the importation of infringing goods. Don't overlook the importance of timely trademark registration to establish a strong legal foundation for your brand.


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