California entrepreneurs and business owners have many things that need protection. You can turn to patents, copyrights or trademarks. Having these helps you keep your ideas and products safe from theft.

But you cannot simply register for these items and then forget about them. In specific, you must maintain your trademark registration. If you do not, things may not work out in your favor.

What is a trademark?

The United States Patent and Trademark Office discusses how trademarking works in the country. Trademarks include all symbols, phrases, words or designs that identify your brand. It sets you apart from the competition. The term trademark is also sometimes used in reference to service marks. Service marks include designs, phrases or symbols that identify your services. Some examples include slogans, logos and brand names.

Why should you monitor trademark registration?

But you must understand that trademarks do not last forever. You need to be monitoring your trademark registration. Why? Because incorrectly reporting information about your trademark can create legal problems for you. In fact, if you overstate your use of a trademark, you may lose your application. In extreme cases, you may lose your entire registration. If you were a trademark owner who had senior rights before this, it could demote you. You would instead become a potential infringer with junior rights.

To avoid this, you must satisfy use requirements. This includes ensuring that everything about your use of your trademark is accurate. For example, if you own a trademark that applies to only one of your products, do not use it on any others. Even small oversights like this could result in you losing your registration.