The trademark process helps people protect their intellectual property so that they can create and maintain the public’s association with a product or service. The exclusivity that comes with having a trademark can help businesses maintain the integrity of their brand and help consumers avoid brand confusion.
While there have always been cases of people trying to abuse the trademark system with false applications, there has been an increase over the last few years. Unfortunately, when the Trademark Office is overrun with these cases, it can also lead to challenges for legitimate filers.
Here’s what you should know about the impact of false trademark applications.
What do the cases have in common?
So far, three companies have been offering a low-cost trademark process. Ultimately, these sites were defrauding trademark owners and the Trademark Office.
Earlier this year, the Trademark Office issued an order for sanctions against the companies offering fraudulent services. The Trademark Office has and will continue to terminate over 5,000 applications made through the businesses in question.
The impact going forward
Although the trademark process does not always feel quick, until recently, the Trademark office was making specific efforts to make the process as efficient as possible. Often attorneys were reviewing applications within three months and issuing registrations in as little as seven months.
The fraudulent filing problem has caused significant issues that threaten to make the trademark process significantly longer. The increase in applications to process is slowing down the process. Also, the recent surge in applications is causing reviewers to take a closer look at applications.
When you are seeing trademark protection for your intellectual property, it is essential to talk to an experienced professional who can support you through the entire process.