Your brand is a valuable asset. Consumers are drawn to brands they recognize and trust. As your business earns its reputation, your brand becomes a beacon of quality attracting new clients and driving growth and revenue. It often takes years of relentless hard work and capital investment to build a strong brand. But even the strongest brands can lose their goodwill with just a few bad acts or negative customer experiences. Because your brand is both powerful and delicate, you must protect it.
Expediting Trademark Examination
The first step in protecting your brand is registering your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). As any competent attorney will advise, the ideal time to apply for trademark registration is before the brand launch. Quite often, however, new business owners are so occupied with countless tasks that applying for trademark registration slips through the cracks. In many cases, business owners do not become aware of pitfalls of not registering their trademark until an unscrupulous opportunist “steals” their brand. Fortunately, in such circumstances, the USPTO allows the brand owner to expedite trademark examination. The vehicle for requesting the expedited examination is a petition to make the trademark application “special.” The USPTO advises that this is “an extraordinary remedy that is granted only when very special circumstances exist, such as a demonstrable possibility of the loss of substantial rights.”
Real World Example
We recently wrote a post about a federal lawsuit for deceptive marketing and false claims for a COVID-19 test kit sold under the brand CORONACIDE. In that case, a California company attempted to capitalize on our client’s brand by falsely alleging to sell CORONACIDE test kits. This controversy captured media attention (Bloomberg, Reuters, NPR, Law360). Given the seriousness of the situation, it was imperative to register the CORONACIDE trademark as quickly as possible to stop the scam in its tracks. In light of this pressing urgency, we petitioned the USPTO to make this trademark application special. The USPTO agreed with our position and granted the petition. Because the USPTO designated this trademark application as “special,” the trademark examiner will expedite the examination process, thus helping our client defend its brand.