Detroit Michigan Trademark Attorneys: Stake Your Claim with Federal Trademark Registration
Federal trademark registration is not required to use a name in business, but the process offers several distinct advantages.
Federal Trademark Registration Advantage No. 1: Legal Presumption of Ownership
Registration with the Federal US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) provides you with the presumption that you or your company (whichever has filed the registration application) is the owner of the mark.
If any part infringes on your use of the mark, you will have the distinct advantage in Federal Court of not needing to prove that you own it. The other party will have the burden of proof in convincing a judge or jury that you do not.
Yours will be the taller hill to climb.
Federal Trademark Registration Advantage No. 2: Legal Presumption of the Exclusive Right to Use the Mark
You will enjoy, similarly, a presumption that you have an exclusive right to use the mark. This means that any other party using the same mark would be required to prove that this presumption is incorrect, and it will be their burden to do so.
Again, a tall hill to climb in litigation.
Federal Trademark Registration Advantage No. 3: Legal Presumption of the Exclusive Right to Use the Mark Across All 50 States
There is a separate process for registration of a trademark or service mark in a particular US state rather than registering it Federally. Such registration provides protection from infringing use of your mark only within that state.
Federal registration provides protection across the entire country, in and between every state.
In fact, Federal registration is specifically available only to marks that are in use in interstate commerce. This is one of the primary registration requirements that the US Trademark Act imposes.
A single registration application provides comprehensive US protection, in other words.
Federal Trademark Registration Advantage No. 4: Your Ownership Listed Online in the USPTO Database
Registration with the USPTO means that your ownership becomes searchable online within the USPTO database.
Most (smart) potential trademark registrants will run a clearance or knockout search of possible competitive use of their proposed mark prior to using or filing their own registration application.
If yours is easy to find online, you will eliminate possible infringement before it occurs.
Federal Trademark Registration Advantage No. 5: The Right to Record a Trademark with US Customs and Border Protection
Federal trademark registration will further allow you to file your mark with US Customs and Border Protection, which will enable that agency to police imports for counterfeit goods.
Federal Trademark Registration Advantage No. 6: The Right to Sue for Infringement in Federal Court
If you have registered your trademark with the USPTO, the registration has proceeded under the provisions of the Lanham Act (the US Trademark Act), a violation of which provides standing for an infringement lawsuit in Federal rather than state court.
Federal Trademark Registration Advantage No. 7: Ease of Registration in Foreign Countries
Federal trademark or service mark registration is required for registration of your mark under the trademark registration laws of many foreign countries, Canada being one such example.
If you plan to export your goods or services under your mark, with your specific brand, this is a distinct advantage.
It is also why retaining a knowledgeable attorney to assist you with the preparation of your trademark application is crucial: such counsel will discuss with you not only what your immediate use of your mark or brand is but also what you want it to be, and where you want it to be, in the long-term.
Federal Trademark Registration Advantage No. 8: The Right to Use ®
Finally, Federal registration permits the use of the ® symbol .
That symbol, beside or used in conjunction with your particular mark, informs all viewing parties that your mark is fully registered with the USPTO, with all of the benefits and advantages described above.
The sight of that symbol beside a logo, tag-line, or name already in use in commerce should inform any potential competitors for the use of that mark that they will find themselves in a tough fight should they proceed to infringe.
Detroit Michigan Trademark Attorneys: Federal Registration Advantages, The Bottom Line
The bottom line with regard to Federal Trademark Registration is that there is no reason not to do it.
The advantages are numerous and weighty. Choosing the right brand for your business is the most important marketing decision you can make when launching a new venture.
Retaining a knowledgeable trademark registration attorney to assist you for a comparatively lost cost in protecting that brand in the best manner provided under Federal law is crucial. It is not an area upon which to skimp.
If you are interested in filing a trademark application with the USPTO for an affordable flat fee, contact Attorney John Hilla here or at (734) 743-1489 to schedule a free telephonic consultation.
Attorney Hilla represents trademark clients nationwide.