How do I secure and enforce my trademark rights?
Yes! Trademark rights are premised on the fact that consumers need to know the difference between different entities selling products. Therefore, if your mark loses its distinctive character, your rights will also be weakened. It is critical to defend against infringing uses of your mark so that the public can confidently connect it to your goods and services.
The length of the process can vary. Once filed, an application is typically assigned to an Examining Attorney within approximately 3 months. If no conflicts are found and if no third-party protests or opposes the registration, then it is feasible for a registration to be issued 4-6 months after that. Therefore, at a minimum, the registration process will require 7-9 months, but it can require much more time (possibly years) if the Examining Attorney issues a refusal or if a third-party files an opposition to the application.
If you acquiesce to infringing uses and registrations of your mark, the distinctiveness of your mark will weaken over time. This affects brand value and also your ability to stop infringements down the line. Therefore, it is imperative to keep the trademark register as free of confusingly similar marks as possible, often through the use of opposition proceedings.