When it comes to trademarks, what you don’t know can hurt you. If one of your competitors successfully registers a trademark that is confusingly similar to your trademark, it can limit your rights to your own mark. Once a trademark has been registered on the Principal Register for five years, you can no longer petition the United States Patent and Trademark Office to cancel the registration based on your prior use or registration of a similar mark. You can learn of the pending registration of marks that are similar to your registered mark by trademark monitoring.

Trademarks are a form of property. Like all property, trademarks need to be maintained. Just as a landlord would not choose to leave a commercial building unoccupied, a trademark owner should not leave any trademark unsupervised. Monitoring is the key component in any strategy to enforce your trademarks.

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