Audit your trademark portfolio


By Rodrigo Sammut

A proactive policy of trademark management within a company requires both an adequate strategy in registering national and international trademarks, but also to make sure there is a use of this intangible asset in order to create value.

The trademark audit is the overhaul of the portfolio to detect if it is in line with the present and future business plan.

It is possible that a company renews its trademarks by inertia without wondering if they are really using them and then wasting money. At the same time, one can neglect the situation of their trademarks in foreign markets or also not watching their use on the Internet and social media. We must bear in mind that, in most countries, the lack of use of our trademarks is a sufficient ground to cancel a trademark.

This leads to inadequate protection and an inefficient use of our trademarks.

The due diligence will require to review the trademark registrations and also the presentation of products and services, the advertising, the distribution agreements, licensing, franchising, coexistence agreements and the presence of the trademarks on the Internet.

This information will lead to conclusions about the weaknesses of the portfolio and then will make possible to design an appropriate strategy for both registration and protection of trademarks in the pertinent markets and in the media.

Gathering this information is also an opportunity to systematize evidences of use, so they will be available in case of initiating opposition, cancellation, or any legal action to demonstrate the use and perhaps notoriety or fame of the trademarks in their respective markets.

For these reasons, it is essential to conduct an audit of the trademarks to continue to give value to this intangible asset.

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