Trademark Enforcement: A More nuanced game than whack-a-mole
A successful advertising campaign promotes goodwill and brand identity, spurring sales, revenue, and profit. But success begets imitation. All too often, imitators attempt to hijack a brand and, with it, all the blood, sweat, tears, and money invested in it. While there are some similarities, the unfortunate reality is trademark enforcement is more nuanced than a game of whack-a-mole. Not every “mole” is worth whacking, some that are whacked may not respond favorably, and sometimes the mallet just is not strong enough to play. So, what should a trademark owner consider when determining whether to take enforcement action? The first step is to identify the scope and strength of the trademark. Next, it is important to determine whether enforcement will obtain the desired results. Lastly, the impact of inaction should be examined.