8 Advantages of Federal Trademark Registration
Trademark goods and services
Given that intellectual property (IP) can make up a significant portion—sometimes up to 90%—of the total value of today’s companies, it’s essential that you do everything you can to protect these intangible assets. And one of the first IP elements you’ll want to protect are your company’s brand name and logo.
To safeguard these brand assets, you’ll need to secure trademarks. A trademark registration can protect words, slogans, symbols, and other distinguishing features of your brand by allowing you to prohibit other businesses from using the same—or highly similar—branding as yours.
Yet not all trademark registrations offer equal protection. For example, you can gain what’s known as trademark common law rights for free simply by being the first business to use your particular brand name in commerce. However, as you’ll see below, trademark common law rights are extremely limited and will prove highly inadequate for most companies.
For maximum protection, you should register your trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Although registering your trademark with USPTO typically costs around $350 per mark, doing so provides you with numerous advantages compared with trademark common law rights. Some of the leading advantages of trademark registration include:
1. Notice of trademark ownership:
2. Prevents others from using a similar trademark:
3. Protects you from trademark infringement:
4. Gives you the right to sue in federal court:
Having a trademark registered gives you the right for a trademark infringement lawsuit in federal court, where you will receive the presumption of being the valid owner of the mark. The presumption of ownership shifts the burden of proof to the defendant who might try to claim they have trademark common law rights as a defense. Under this burden, the defendant must prove that he/she was first to use the mark and their use has been continuous, which can be extremely difficult, requiring extensive documentation and/or witnesses.
5. Offers additional legal remedies:
6. Allows you to publicly display your registration:
7. Enables you to apply for trademark registration in foreign markets:
8. Empowers enforcement of trademark by U.S. Customs officials:
Enforcing your rights
It’s important to keep in mind that outside of prohibiting others from registering a confusingly similar trademark, the USPTO will not enforce your trademark rights or bring any legal action against an infringer—that’s up to you. That said, if you discover potential trademark infringement, we as your trademark lawyer, can help you enforce your ownership rights, and do everything we can to maintain your trademark rights without a lawsuit. Indeed, we often write letters that not only resolve the conflict, but also inspire the other party to join you in an ongoing joint venture that can benefit both parties.
By allowing Artisan Law to handle the federal registration of your trademark, you can stay focused on other important matters of your business, while we handle the underlying structures that support your business growth. Not only can we help you secure the proper trademarks, but we can also work with you to develop a comprehensive strategy to protect all of your other intellectual property, as well as support the ongoing strategy of building a great business and a great brand.