Whenever your business name, logo, or product comes up in the news or on social media, you want to know about it. And if somebody is using your trademark without permission, you need to be able to stop them as quickly as possible. But how do you keep track of every conversation out there related to your brand? That’s where trademark monitoring comes in.
What Is Trademark Monitoring?
Trademark monitoring refers to the process of searching the internet to find all unauthorized uses of your registered trademark. Trademark monitoring services—also called trademark watch services—automate this process so that brand owners can keep a close eye on how their mark is being used without having to spend hours a week conducting manual searches.
Why Watch Your Trademark?
Registering a trademark does not automatically protect it from being copied. To keep your trademark rights intact, you will have to enforce them.
By uncovering any misuse of your mark early, trademark monitoring enables you to take immediate action against infringement. For example, if someone tries to register a trademark or domain using your brand name, you will be able to oppose their conflicting applications.
Trademark monitoring services can help you discover:
- New uses of your trademarks by third parties
- Domain name registrations containing your brand names or variations thereof
- Trademark applications for marks that are confusingly similar to your own
- Social media accounts using your brand’s name
- Infringing or counterfeit products
Can You Monitor Trademarks Yourself?
Monitoring your trademarks can be a tricky task, especially if you’re not sure where to look. While it is possible to monitor trademarks yourself, it can be time-consuming and prone to error.
Here are a few steps that you can take in order to manually monitor your trademark:
- Use Search Engines – Search for your brand name on Google and other search engines like DuckDuckGo or Bing. You can also search for your logo and other visual assets using Google Image Search.
- Search Social Media - Check social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest for any unauthorized uses of your brand name or logo. It’s also a good idea to search your brand name on relevant online marketplaces like Etsy, Gumroad, or Amazon.
- Set Up Google Alerts - Set up Google Alerts for your brand name so that you’ll receive an email notification whenever those terms are used on the internet. You can also set up alerts for related words and phrases, like your brand’s slogan.
- Global Trademark Search - A global trademark search will let you know if anyone is attempting to register the same mark as yours in any other country or region around the world. You can use Digip’s free trademark search engine to get an instant trademark report.
Follow these steps at least twice a month: once at the beginning of the month and once again after 2 weeks.
If you're just starting out, it may be tempting to try trademark monitoring yourself. But if you're serious about protecting your brand, trademark monitoring is too important to leave up to chance.
As your brand grows, the time and resources it takes to track down potential infringement cases can become overwhelming. This is why many trademark owners choose to employ trademark watch services.
How Do Trademark Monitoring Services Work?
Trademark monitoring services help businesses fight against infringement by keeping tabs on how their trademarks are being used. They use powerful algorithms to scan online databases including websites, social media, and trademark registries for new uses of your mark.
These services regularly search for your mark and condense their findings into a user-friendly report. This helps you stay informed about what's happening with your brand and make informed decisions on how to protect it.
If you’re considering using a trademark monitoring service, Digip may be a good fit. Our trademark watch service scans 240 trademark databases for any uses of your mark. We send out weekly trademark reports and offer case management assistance so you don’t miss any opportunity to defend your brand.
What Happens If You Don't Monitor Your Trademark?
Without regular monitoring and maintenance, you may miss instances of infringement and your trademark rights can be diluted over time. Your mark could become generic, or in the worst-case scenario, someone else could claim it for themselves.
This is especially true if you've been inactive in enforcing your trademark. In this case, third parties will have an opportunity to file a petition for cancellation because they believe that the mark has become generic or fallen into disuse.
If your company doesn't look closely enough at these risks every year or two, it could fall victim to either scenario—and those are just some of the most common ways that companies lose their trademark protection.
Start Watching Your Mark Today
Trademark monitoring is an essential part of your brand protection strategy. Without it, you risk losing profits and even the value of your trademark if infringers are able to establish a more dominant presence in the market. By conducting regular searches and monitoring third-party trademarks, you can stop copycats in their tracks.