As a trademark owner, it's up to you to actively monitor current applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that may conflict with your trademark--or you could risk losing your rights. With LegalZoom Trademark Monitoring, you'll be notified of potentially infringing applications up to one year before they are published in the Official Gazette.
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Very good service–was glad to see something like this offered!
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Trademark owners are responsible for enforcing their own trademark rights, whereas the USPTO is responsible only for assessing applications and registering marks. When a USPTO examiner is reviewing trademark applications, he or she may not think that a mark you think is similar to yours is similar enough to be refused--and that can lead to diminishment of your own trademark rights.
If you are monitoring new applications, and you feel that the mark in a pending trademark application could be confused with your trademark, you can dispute registration of the other mark through the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), which is a branch of the USPTO.
A conflict exists when one trademark is confusingly similar to another trademark already registered. The principal factors used to determine if there would be a chance of confusion include:
To be considered a conflict, two trademarks do not have to be identical to one another and the products ("goods") and/or services associated with the marks do not have to be the same. It may be enough that the trademarks are in some way similar and the products and/or services related in some way.
In some cases, trademarks that may seem similar can coexist if they are unlikely to confuse a consumer. For example, two trademarks that may seem similar can both be allowed if they are used for unrelated products or services, and are therefore unlikely to cause consumer confusion. Here are some examples:
Trademark owners are responsible for monitoring others' use of and applications for registration of marks similar to their own. Trademark owners are also solely responsible for enforcing their trademark rights. If you believe that another person or company has submitted an application to the USPTO for registration of a mark confusingly similar to yours, please contact the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). You can speak to an attorney who is licensed in your state for a low monthly fee through our Business Legal Plan. To learn more, click here.
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