We recently posted an article discussing the University of Alabama’s efforts to enforce their trademark registrations. The story involved a small bakery that makes cookies using the University’s “A” logo. The University of Alabama contracts with Collegiate Licensing Co. to police their trademark portfolio. Collegiate recently sent a cease-and-desist letter to this small bakery in Northport, Alabama. The letter ordered the bakery to stop selling products that contained the University’s trademarks. The University of Alabama has a trademark registration covering its “A” logo.
The first step to protect your brand is to obtain trademark protection by registering a trademark, but this is just the first step of an ongoing process. After acquiring a trademark registration, you must enforce it or risk infringers diluting your brand equity or unjustly profiting from it. The United States Patent and Trademark Office will not enforce your trademark registration for you. You must actively enforce your rights against infringers. A recent story posted by the San Francisco Chronicle highlights the efforts of the University of Alabama to enforce their own trademark rights.)