What Happens When the Public Trademarks You?

downloadTrademarks are normally developed through long marketing meetings and lots of brainstorming. Selecting a Trademark is often a difficult decision involving aesthetics, what appeals to the right demographic, and so on. Logos and marketing messages are all carefully crafted. But, to tweak a quote slightly, sometimes a trademark doesn’t survive contact with the public.

A particular image represented or event that occurs during early marketing efforts may draw out an entirely different trademark that the public clings to instead, rather than the originally envisioned trademark. This can put your marketing team into a frenzy to generate new materials to ride the wave of buzz and publicity. It should also put your legal team into a frenzy too.

If the public does this, two things must be done. The owner should first register the new trademark, and then enforce it against copyright infringers who may try to steal the wave of interest for themselves. This can be difficult if a trademark is born from the public, but there are no products available to support it. If this is the case, a trademark can be registered with “intent to use.” Video game companies use this often when they plan to release sequels to a game. It is also important to register any related domains that share the new trademark, in order to prevent a squatter from stealing it.

If you are trying to capitalize on a new trademark, you’ll need an intellectual property lawyer on your side. Greenberg & Lieberman, LLC can help you register and defend your trademarks against infringement. Find out more by browsing our trademark FAQ or calling our offices.

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