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Trademark monitoring - what is it and why do you need it?

Updated: Apr 9

Trademark monitoring helps you to become aware of and take action against potential trademark infringement as soon as possible.


It is an essential part of protecting your trademark after registration.


You can monitor your trade mark yourself, or use a trademark monitoring service.


Read on to understand the importance of trademark monitoring to prevent damage to your brand.


What is trademark monitoring?


Trademark monitoring is the process of continually checking trademark registers to ensure that no one else is using a mark that is identical or similar to yours, in connection to similar goods or services.


This primarily involves regularly completing a trademark search of relevant trademark registers to detect new trademark applications that may infringe your rights.


Proactive searching of trademark registers means that you will know if someone has applied to register a mark that is identical or similar to yours, in connection to relevant goods or services. 


By actively monitoring your brand, you'll be aware of similar trademarks as soon as they are filed with the trademark office.


This will enable you to take steps as soon as possible to stop any problematic trademark applications and safeguard your brand, which in turn can reduce the need for legal action.


Many small computer screens.
Trademark monitoring is the process of monitoring trademark databases to check no one else is using your trademark.

Other ways to protect your brand


Depending on your trade mark, the products or services you supply, and your sales channels, your broader brand protection strategy might also include regularly checking:


  • online marketplaces and social media platforms for counterfeit products or misuse of your brand name

  • registering your brand on online marketplaces (such as Amazon's brand registry, or eBay's Verified Rights Owner Program)

  • business or company name registers for any registrations that are similar to your trade mark

  • search engine results for your brand's keywords

  • domain name searches to check if any similar domains have been registered


What is a trademark watch service?


'Trademark watch service' and 'trademark monitoring' are generally interchangeable terms.


You 'watch' the register for new trademark applications.


The purpose of trademark monitoring


Trademark monitoring helps protects your registered trademark.


It's a common misconception among brand owners that owning a trademark registration is all you need to prevent infringement. 


While owning a registered trademark grants you the right to stop other people from infringing your brand, it doesn't prevent your brand from being infringed.


It's a trade mark owner's responsibility to enforce their rights. Generally the sooner you take action, the easier it is to stop an infringer.


An effective trademark watching strategy will notify the owner of potential infringement as soon as it is identified.


The aim of monitoring is to identify potential infringement that could confuse consumers or reduce your brand's unique identity and value through trademark dilution (i.e. another trader using a brand that is identical or similar to yours in the marketplace). 


By promptly identifying infringement, you can take the necessary legal steps to protect your rights, including sending cease and desist letters, filing oppositions to applications or initiating legal proceedings if necessary. 


To learn more read our guide on infringement.


Why you need trademark monitoring


Your registered trademark is a valuable asset


A trade mark is more than just a logo or a name; it's the public persona of your business. 


Your trade mark represents the quality of your goods and services and it distinguishes your goods and services from those of your competitors in the market. 


Trade marks act as a signal of your reputation, contribute to brand identity and can influence the purchasing decisions of your customers. 


Through consistent use and customer engagement, your trade mark can increase in value and become a valuable asset that drives competitive advantage and long-term profitability.


Infringement can harm your business


Infringement is the unauthorised use of a trademark that is deceptively similar, or substantially identical to a registered mark. Infringement can significantly harm your business in several ways. 


It can dilute your brand’s uniqueness in the market. It can lead to customer confusion, reputation damage and loss of revenue when a customer purchases an inferior product or service mistakenly associating it with your products or services. 


It's important to monitor your trademark to make sure that you become aware of potential infringement as soon as possible.


Infringement can be a costly and time consuming problem, leading to increased legal complication and expense the longer it goes unaddressed. 


If you fail to stop the infringement, there are several potential consequences:


  • your exclusive trademark rights can be diluted

  • the infringement can cause confusion among your customers

  • it can damage your reputation

  • it can lessen your market share


Benefits of a Trademark Monitoring Service


Monitoring your trademarks offers both protection and strategic advantages for your business.


The most effective trademark monitoring strategy is to put in place trademark monitoring software that automatically searches the trade mark databases for you. 


The main benefit of using trade mark monitoring software is that it allows you to set and forget your monitoring strategy.


Other benefits include the fact that it:




The benefits of a trade mark monitoring service infographic


1. Helps protect your business against trademark infringement


Monitor software acts as an early warning system for infringement, enabling you to catch any potentially infringing applications before they are registered. 


Once a mark is registered, the owner of that registration is able to use their mark in relation to the goods and services set out in the registration, irrespective of the similarities between their mark and yours. 


By automating and actively watching the register, you ensure that no one can register a mark that is identical or too similar to yours without you knowing about it. 


If you don't monitor the register, you might only find out about the infringement after its too late.


Having a monitor service in place empowers you to take early and appropriate action.


Addressing infringement early often results in more straightforward, less costly resolution methods and often removes the need to resort to litigation.


2. Helps reinforce the legal protection of your brand


Consistent trademark monitoring reinforces the legal protection of your brand. 


Demonstrating active and ongoing enforcement of your intellectual property rights can strengthen your position in potential legal disputes or infringement cases. 


It underscores your commitment to protecting your intellectual property and defending your rights, which can deter potential infringers.


3. Provides market insights


By setting up a service to watch the register, you can identify new market entrants early, which offers insights into competitive trends and emerging threats. 


This information is invaluable for strategic planning, allowing businesses to adapt and respond proactively to maintain a competitive edge.


4. Helps ensure your brand remains unique and distinctive


By watching registers for identical or similar marks, you're empowered with the knowledge and ability to take action against any infringing applications. 


Taking action ensures your trademark remains unique and distinctive and protects the integrity and value of your brand. 


​The continuous monitoring of your brand isn't just a protective measure; it's a strategic move that ensures the preservation of your unique reputation and that your mark continues to serve as a symbol of quality and origin for the goods or services it represents. 


This, in turn, can drive long-term growth and reinforce your position in the market.


5. Can help you expand internationally


If you have plans to expand your business internationally, monitoring is essential to protect your rights worldwide. 


An international trademark monitoring service can help you identify potential conflicts or infringements in target markets, ensuring that your brand remains protected as you expand overseas.


How to set up a trademark monitoring plan


Trade mark monitoring is an important step in protecting your brand and your business. 


When setting up a monitoring service it's important to be strategic about the marks, the registers, and the goods and services your are keeping track of. 


A trade mark lawyer can advise on and create a trade mark monitoring strategy that best suits you and your business.


We use best-in-class trademark monitoring software to make sure you never miss a mark.


If you'd like to set up trade mark monitoring or have any questions about how a service can help you protect your trademark, please reach out today.


Need help with your monitoring strategy?



If you want to set up a service to monitor your brand or have a trademark issue, contact us today.


*Please note, the information in this article is general in nature and is not legal advice. You should seek independent legal advice tailored to you and your circumstances.

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