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How To Keep Your Mark Alive

By September 8, 2017IP Insights

Your mark, whether it is a logo, a word, a sound, a shape or a combination of things, needs to be properly used in order to protect its status as a trademark. The following are a few guiding principles on how to keep your mark alive:

1. Your mark is an adjective, and should be followed by generic term and/or brand. For example:
       KleenexTM tissue.

2. To be identified or have the status as a trademark, your mark should have 1 of the following surrounding text:

       KleenexTM tissue (symbol), KLEENEX tissue (capital letters), “Kleenex”

       tissue (quotation marks), Kleenex tissue (initial capital letter), Kleenex tissue (italics),

       Kleenex tissue (bold font).

3. Your mark should not be altered, always being used in the same form, including spelling and punctuation.

4. Your mark should not be pluralized if it is not registered as one. Instead, pluralize the generic term.

5. If your mark ends in “s” it should not be singularized.

6. Your mark should not be used as a verb. For example:

       Incorrect: Google a good place to eat for dinner.
       Correct: Do a GoogleTM search for a good place to eat for dinner.

7. It should not be used in the possessive form, unless your mark itself is possessive. For example:
       Incorrect: Febreze’sTM fresh scent

Correct: FebrezeTM spray’s fresh scent

We understand that there are a lot of facts to remember to properly use your mark in order to keep it alive. To summarize, the International Trademark Association (INTA) came up with the “ACID” test to help.

A =  use your mark as an Adjective

C = refer to your mark Consistently (spelling, punctuation)

I = Identify your mark as a trademark (such as with a TM

D = Distinguish your mark from other text (e.g. with capital letters, bold font)

It is important to keep your mark alive by properly using it as consumers will recognise your trademark and associate it with your products and services. This is also important because your trademark is a badge of origin and quality and it will limit the confusion in the marketplace over competitor products and services. If you do not use your trademark properly, trademark rights can be lost. However, if you use your mark properly, it will become an asset that can last forever.

At Wynnes, we can register your mark to protect it. By registering your mark, it will be kept true to your values and vision.  For further information about trademarks click here. Please do not hesitate to contact us about your mark.

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