The Benefits and Importance of a Federal Trademark Registration
When starting or owning a business it is imperative that you protect your intangible assets including your brand name and intellectual property. To enjoy the nationwide rights offered by a Federal trademark registration, you must file an application and receive a registration from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”).
A Federal trademark registration will greatly enhance your rights. U.S. trademark rights are created through the use of your mark in commerce, however these use-based rights are just common law rights and only apply to a specific geographic area. This means that it may be hard for you to enforce these rights outside that limited geographic area and it is also hard for the public to know about your rights.
Question: “Why should I register my brand name or logo with the USPTO?”
Answer: A Federal trademark registration provides you with the following benefits:
- An unregistered trademark has less protection than a registered mark because registration gives the legal presumption that you are the owner of the mark, thus you would not need to prove that in a litigation.
- Registration gives the legal presumption of your exclusive right to use your mark nationwide with the goods and services that are identified in the registration.
- Registration ensures that other companies cannot register a similar mark to yours and it gives you exclusive rights to operate and market under the registered trademark.
- Registration gives you a right to bring a legal action in Federal court concerning the registered mark.
- Once you have your registered trademark, it can be recorded with the U.S. Customs and Boarder protection, which will ensure no counterfeit goods are being imported.
- You can use the “®” symbol, which unregistered marks cannot use.
- If your company expands internationally, you can use your U.S. federal registration for foreign trademark filings.