Last year, I told you that TMF was launching a new flat fee package for search, filing, and monitoring, called keep.
And by rendering services in interstate commerce under the name keep, we developed “common law” rights to the brand. People liked it, so we decided to keep it.
Of course, we knew that only USPTO registration would give us strong national enforcement rights, put people on notice of our rights, and convey exclusivity – so we could keep others out.
No, we don’t “own” the word. But when it comes to using it as a brand for legal services (including, but not limited to trademark services), we have the strongest enforcement tool in our hands if someone else’s mark is confusingly similar. So, we can’t stop politicians from putting it on red hats, but if a hypothetical IP firm decides to launch as KEEP IP LAW, we might not keep our objections private.
Like our clients, we conducted a risk assessment and had a good comfort level before deciding to pull the trigger. But sometime between our search and filing, a legal support staff firm called KEEP IT VIRTUAL submitted their application. Though we like to keep things interesting, no conflict arose.
At TMF we’re always telling clients about the importance of trademark protection. We brag about bang for the buck and sing the praises of the straightforward process.
But filing our first new mark since THE MOSKOWITZ FIRM® itself was an important reminder about a few things:
It’s hard to decide when it’s safe to announce a new brand.
The Public Opposition Period is a terrifying 30-day window.
USPTO examination timelines can be a challenge for the impatient.
But it feels amazing to open up a goldenrod envelope and see a fancy seal next to your brand.