Best Practices to Protect your Trademarks

Everyone knows the value of a trademark.  If you have eaten at a local fast food restaurant or taken a sip of any one of a number of popular drinks, you probably did so because that companies trademark or servicemark has somehow implanted in your memory the message that you like or crave that “thing.”  What you may not realize is that each and every one of those companies  has to protect those trademarks and servicemarks or they will lose them.  Here, we look to give you an idea of what needs to be done to protect trademarks after filing them with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. 1. Develop and Implement an Overall Intellectual Property Rights Protection Program where someone on your team is keeping a close eye and searching for infringers of your trademarks and acting appropriately; 2. Conduct a Trade Secrets Audit; 3. Put together employee policies and integrate trademark education into your employee training and procedures guidelines so your employees know what to look for and can assist when needed; 4. Keep proper records of your trademarks and servicemarks and when throwing things away, be careful of how your destroy records because you don’t want your information falling into the wrong hands; 5. Know when to label documents as “Confidential” or “Classified”; 6. Limit access to proprietary information on a need-to-know basis only; 7. Have confidentiality agreements in place with your staff; 8. Be careful when signing business related agreements with third parties because some agreements allow for use of trademarks to market the relationship to the public; and 9. Conduct exit interviews with your employees to find out what they know and do not know. To read Lynne Shelton’s article about the above, please click HERE. These are just a few examples of how you should protect your trademarks and servicemarks after filing and registration.  To talk with one of our attorneys about implementing a trademark protection plan in your office, call us toll free at 866-993-7262, email us at, or submit a contact request through or CONTACT US page. Shelton & Power, franchise law firm, has offices in Tampa, FL; Austin, TX and Santa Rosa, CA.