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Companies must protect their trademarks

One of the most valuable things that any business can have is intellectual property. Your patents and trademarks are the cornerstones of your company. Sure, you will have many assets and pieces of property that carry immense worth, but your ideas and identity are what will carry you as an organization. So it is very important for any company to protect their intellectual property and actively use these assets.

For this discussion, let's focus solely on trademarks. Obtaining a trademark is a bit of a process, but once achieved, you need to defend your trademark from other individuals and companies who would look to profit off of your legally protected intellectual property. There are a number of ways to protect your trademark.

The first and most obvious is to "actively use" your trademark. This means using the "TM" symbol in association with the protected item or name in question, while also "using" that name or item in the marketplace (in other words, selling an item or being active in the industry).

You should also be on the look out for companies trying to use your trademark, or use "confusingly similar" products, names or images. You can file lawsuits to hold offending or infringing companies responsible for these actions. On a lower level than an all-out lawsuit, you can send "cease and desist" letters to parties that you know are infringing your trademark. Hopefully this can fix the issue without having to go through serious legal proceedings.

Source: FindLaw, "Protect Your Trademark from Infringement," Accessed Dec. 20, 2016

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