Do I Need A Trade Mark Watch Service?
Once you have registered your trade mark, you might be wondering what happens next. Registering your trade mark is only the first step in the life cycle of your trade mark management. With new trade mark filings rising year by year, keeping up with potential infringement is becoming increasingly difficult. Trade mark watch services provide an effective solution for this. To help you decide if you need a trade mark watch service, this article will take you through what they are, the different types of watch services and the pros and cons of engaging a watch service.
What is a Trade Mark Watch Service?
Your trade marks are an important asset of your business. However, like all assets, you will need to manage your trade marks properly to ensure you take full advantage of its benefits.
Regular monitoring of your trade marks is a critical component of trade mark management. This monitoring includes searching for unauthorised use of your trade mark so you can take action against infringement.
Trade mark watch services are an efficient way to monitor the actions of your trade mark competitors. Trade mark watch services are paid services that help:
- monitor actions of competitors;
- identify trade mark infringement; and
- protect the reputation of your trade mark and brand.
Types of Trade Mark Watch Services
There are two main types of trade mark watch services. These are:
- automated software services; or
- manual watch services.
Automated trade mark watch services use software. This software automatically searches trade mark registers for trade marks that are similar or identical to yours, providing you with the opportunity to oppose if necessary.
On the other hand, manual trade mark watch services engage someone to monitor trade mark databases manually. These findings will typically be provided to you in the form of reports if the service finds relevant trade marks.
Pros of a Trade Mark Watch Service
Ultimately, the main benefit of trade mark watch services is the peace of mind that they bring. Trade mark watch services provide national or international coverage so you can conduct your business activities knowing that you will be notified in the instance your trade mark is at risk. In addition, trade mark watch services can provide regular quality data in a way that minimises your risk and allows you to respond to infringement fast.
Cons of a Trade Mark Watch Service
The main disadvantage of trade mark watch services is the fees involved. Trade mark watch services usually cost a monthly fee, based on the number of relevant trade mark classes the service monitors. Further, international trade mark searches will usually increase the price even further. However, this is likely a small price to pay compared to the advantages of trade mark watch services.
Do I Need A Trade Mark Watch Service?
If you are a small business with few trade marks, the cost of using trade mark watch services might not be worth it. Instead, it might be a better option for you to monitor your trade marks yourself.
Further, the type of trade mark watch service you engage will depend on your unique business needs. For example, a manual trade mark service is most appropriate for large organisations with substantial budgets for their intellectual property management.
A trade mark watch service is an efficient way to monitor the actions of your trade mark competitors. Trade mark watch services help you monitor the actions of competitors and identify trade mark infringement. When determining if you should engage a trade mark watch service, you should consider the:
- size of your trade mark portfolio;
- breadth of your trade mark portfolio jurisdiction; and
- financial restraints.
Frequently Asked Questions
IP management refers to the systems set up by a business that identify, protect and monitor your business’ trade marks and broader intellectual property. Registering your trade mark is only the first step in the trade mark process – every step that comes after registration is part of your trade mark management. This includes ensuring your trade marks are not being infringed upon.
Whether you decide to engage trade mark watch services will depend on your unique business needs. For example, if you have a large trade mark portfolio, having a trade mark watch service will almost be essential for your trade mark management. On the other hand, if you are a small business with few trade marks, the cost of using trade mark watch services might not be worth it for you.