Why Is Trademark Docketing Important for Brand Protection?
Alt Legal Team | January 24, 2023
Brand owners spend a great deal of time, money, and resources developing their brands and building goodwill surrounding their trademarks. Therefore, it’s crucial that when it comes to monitoring important deadlines pertaining to trademark applications and registrations, that brand owners have a sound trademark docketing system in place.
All legal professionals must keep track of important dates for filing and responding to various types of actions. Docketing these dates ensures efficient workflow, delegation of tasks, and time management. For IP professionals, IP and trademark docketing is especially important because missing deadlines related to IP and trademark matters can result in expensive fees to recover actions. In a worst-case scenario, missing deadlines can result in abandonment of a trademark and ultimately, a loss of client rights. Read more about the true costs of missing IP and trademark deadlines here.
IP docketing is the process of tracking deadlines related to the prosecution of trademarks, copyrights, and patents before their respective governing offices. Trademark and patent filings, registrations, and oppositions include numerous deadlines. These deadlines can be as soon as 90 days from receipt of a particular notification or can span the course of 6 or 10 years. Because trademark and patent filings have so many deadlines to track, it is important for IP professionals to have a reliable docketing system to monitor deadlines.
Avoid Missing Deadlines
The trademark prosecution process, both in the US and internationally, involves many deadlines. Missing deadlines can potentially result in loss of trademark rights if the applicant misses the deadline and fails to revive the application. Additionally, missing deadlines can force an applicant to pay expensive fees to recover the trademark application and cause unnecessary delay in securing the registration, all the while allowing other parties to potentially infringe on the applicant’s rights.
By having an accurate, easy-to-use trademark docketing system in place, you can avoid missing deadlines and secure a brand’s valuable trademark rights. With a fully-automated trademark docketing system like Alt Legal, it’s easy to keep track of deadlines. You don’t even have to log into the system to see what deadlines are coming up. Instead, you’ll receive daily email notifications about all of your upcoming deadlines. Additionally, Alt Legal will sync with your calendar, allowing you to easily review your upcoming deadlines along with your other appointments and ensuring that you never miss a deadline.
In the US and in international jurisdictions, once you’ve successfully obtained a trademark registration, you must continue to keep track of deadlines that pertain to registration maintenance. For example, in the US, registrants must file registration maintenance documents within the 5th and 6th year following the registration date, and again between the 9th and 10th year following the registration date, and again every 10 years to maintain the trademark registration. Failure to comply with these important registration maintenance deadlines can result in loss of trademark rights and/or expensive fees to recover the registration along with unnecessary paperwork and filings.
Again, by having an accurate, easy-to-use trademark docketing system in place, you’ll be able to ensure that you do not miss any of these important registration maintenance filings, even years or decades after you’ve completed the initial trademark prosecution process to secure the registration. With a fully-automated trademark docketing system like Alt Legal, you never even have to manually enter these far-off registration maintenance deadlines. Alt Legal will automatically calculate and docket these deadlines and send you email and calendar reminders at regular (or customized) intervals so that you have plenty of time to prepare these essential maintenance filings.
Keep Track of Global Filings
When brands expand globally, it’s important to obtain trademark protection in jurisdictions around the world. While you will typically retain local counsel to help prosecute trademarks internationally and they will maintain a docket with your marks, it’s important to docket your global trademark deadlines in your own docketing system as well. This way, you’ll ensure that you do not miss any deadlines as a result of your local counsel failing to communicate deadlines to you or as a result of information getting lost in translation or even lost in the mail (or email!)
By using a highly-automated system like Alt Legal to monitor your international trademark filings, you can feel confident that your docketing system is going to keep track of important international deadlines and inform you of upcoming due dates. In Canada, Alt Legal’s CIPO database connection retrieves all trademark data, deadlines, and status updates. In all other jurisdictions, through a partnership with CompuMark, Alt Legal automatically retrieves data from 180+ global IP offices and creates renewal and use deadlines when foreign trademarks are registered and renewed. Alt Legal updates CIPO trademarks automatically, and you can easily validate other changes to your docketed trademarks to keep your global portfolio current with a few clicks.
Alt Legal makes global trademark docketing much simpler and more straightforward than other docketing systems on the market. This will help you to keep close tabs on your international trademark filings, securing your brand’s rights globally.
Keep Files Organized for Easy Reference
Another key factor in brand protection is keeping your files organized. Trademark prosecution involves many filings before IP offices and necessarily, a lot of paperwork associated with these filings. Ensuring that all paperwork or electronic files end up in the right place can be a daunting task. Failing to keep your paper and/or electronic files complete and up-to-date can cause problems down the road as you work to protect your valuable brands. Disorganized or lost files can mean that you aren’t able to locate key specimens or prove early first use dates. Ultimately, this can result in losing IP rights where other parties are able to demonstrate earlier use or use with reference to particular goods and/or services.
Alt Legal solves the problem of disorganized or out-of-date paper and/or electronic files by maintaining a document storage system alongside your docketed marks. Anytime you look up a particular matter, you can access all of the USPTO documents associated with the filing along with any other files you may have uploaded to the docketing system. Any user at your organization can upload documents to the docketing system to help keep your files organized, up-to-date, and easily accessible.
High-Tech Trademark Docketing Software Can Help You Protect Your Valuable Brands
Having a sophisticated, high-tech trademark docketing system like Alt Legal can help you protect your valuable brands. Learn more about what features to look for in the best, most high-tech trademark docketing software.
- Trademark Docketing Software Features Checklist: Organize Your Evaluation
- Top 5 Trademark Docketing System “Must Haves”
If you have any questions about how to choose the best IP docketing software for your organization, our knowledgeable team is here to help. Reach out to us at email@example.com. Also, we would be pleased to offer you a free trial or demo of Alt Legal IP Docketing Software. To sign up, click here.