Trademarks are another arm of the intellectual property world that help companies who want to protect their symbols, logos, names and goods. Applying for a trademark can be a difficult process, but eh legal protections it affords companies make it worth it in the end. But here's the question: how do you protect your trademark once you have earned it?
There are a few ways to do this. A common way is to "actively use" your trademark. This means that you need to actually use whatever name, logo or symbol is trademarked. Using the "TM" symbol is part of this, or if you have a trademark pending then using the name that is on the application in business practices and actions can qualify as "active use."
Now, what if you have a product that won't be in use for some time? What if it is in development and won't be available for months, or even years? There is a specific trademark that you can use in these cases called an "intent to use" trademark. It doesn't grant you the rights of an actual trademark, but it reserves the name for a trademark at a later date.
If you have a trademark, protecting it is essential. A company can do this by filing cease and desist orders to other companies, parties or individuals who are violating or infringing upon the trademark. If the cease and desist orders are not respected and the offending party continues to violate the trademark, then a lawsuit will be your best course of action.