Filing for trademark protection is something to consider when setting up your business. Not all companies need to do it, but if your success will rest on people knowing your name, logos and the like, then it is crucial.
You might assume you can tick it off your to-do list for good once you have registered and got approval for your trademark. Yet, that is not the case. You must renew every 10 years before it runs out. Otherwise, someone could sneak in and steal it from you, leaving your business in limbo.
As your business progresses, you may need to trademark additional things, so keep a calendar to remind you when their respective renewal dates are approaching.
Will someone tell me if another party infringes on my trademark?
No. All the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office does is check it is free when you wish to register it and record it. Then you are on your own.
It pays to be vigilant to catch any would-be trademark thieves early before they can damage your brand. Someone is far more likely to stop using it willingly if they have only just started than if they have already invested significant amounts into using it in their marketing materials, packaging and so on.
You can, however, set up Google alerts to keep an eye on people using your trademarked terms, or you can pay third-party companies to monitor things for you.
What if I find someone using my trademark?
First, check your trademark is still valid, then seek legal help to understand how best to protect your intellectual property.