Whew, you did it - you have your own registered trademark, congrats! That’s a huge win for your business - plus you now get to use that awesome ®!
You OWN your branding and I know the confidence and empowerment that comes from that!
But did you know it is YOUR JOB to keep your trademark up to date and enforce it within the world?
Here are a few things to keep in mind once you pass that big hurdle of actually getting your mark, the rest is a cakewalk!
✅ Use Your Mark Consistently.
First off, use your trademark, you need to keep selling consistently to keep your registration going. If you stop selling or using your mark, it can be considered “weakened” and open to more challenges.
Also you can (and should) use the ® - this means you have a registered trademark and lets the world know IT. You don't have to use it everywhere, but we suggest using it in a few places on your website and in social media.
✅ Police Your Trademark.
Second, it's important to "police" your trademark, this means you should keep a lookout for others in your industry that may start to use a similar mark. If you spot someone doing this, it is your job (as part of keeping up your trademark registration) to let them know the mark is taken and/or send a Cease & Desist if necessary. If you don’t, your make could become “diluted” or someone could challenge it and claim you failed to police it.
✅ File the proper renewals on time.
Third, there are a few federal requirements to keep your trademark up to date - these “renewal filings” are forms that can be submitted online along with a small fee per class of goods/services. You must file a Declaration of Use (meaning, you are still actively using your trademark) between the 5th and 6th years after the registration date. You will get an email from USPTO as a reminder and yes you have a whole year!