Is Federal Registration of My Company’s Trademark/Service Mark required?
No. However, if the company’s Trademark/brand is not registered, it becomes more difficult to enforce the company’s rights associated with its brand. If a federal Registration is not procured, then the owner of the Trademark/Service Mark must rely on State or common law precepts to prove infringement.
Federal Registration Advantages Include:
- The symbol “®” can be placed in proximity to the Trademark/Service Mark giving notice the Trademark is registered in the United Patent and Trademark Office
- Substantive and procedural rights attributable to federal jurisdiction (rather than using a state’s law to control adversarial proceedings)
- Prevention of the registration of another Trademark/Service Mark in the United States Patent and Trademark Office that is confusingly similar
- Creates a basis for international Madrid Protocol Trademarks/Service Marks
- Constructive notice of ownership and date of first use in interstate or international commerce
Wise Business Owners Procure Federal Registration Because:
- Over time, the Trademarks/Service Marks can mature into the company’s most valuable asset
- Trademarks/Service Marks are foundational components of most franchise agreements
- Trademark/Service Mark licenses can provide a royalty stream for the registrant
- If your company does not procure a United States Trademark, another company can procure a federal Registration of your company’s Trademark and limit your company’s usage of its brand to the geographic areas in which your company’s use was prior to the registering company’s use of your brand name
- After five years of continuous use, your company’s federal Registration becomes incontestable, unless one or more of nine statutory defenses can be proved by the party contesting your company’s United States Trademark/Service Mark
If you have questions about your company’s Trademarks/Service Marks, please contact Business Patent Law, PLLC and we will discuss possibilities for your business and intellectual properties.
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