Creating, maintaining, and protecting a well-recognized and well-respected trademark is fundamental to successful branding. A trademark or service mark is a key component of a brand’s identity, and one that encapsulates a brand into a single, striking impression. As such, a brand should work proactively to foster strong protection for its trademarks and branding.
Protecting a trademark often involves monitoring and preventing trademark infringement that presents a serious threat to the well-being of a company or organization. Over time, infringement can chip away at a brand’s reputation and consumer loyalty. A trademark owner has an affirmative duty to police their trademarks or risk losing them through abandonment or inaction. In addition, failure to enforce a trademark can give the infringer certain defenses based on the equitable legal doctrines of acquiescence, estoppel, or laches. Also, trademark registrations must be formally maintained. In the U.S., affidavits and proof of use must be periodically filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office or the trademark registration will be cancelled.
A brand requires these elements to stay competitive in their market and maintain profitability. By protecting its marks, a brand is better able to protect the integrity of the entire organization.