Subtitle: 
Federal trademark registration is an important part of protecting your company’s intellectual property

 

Important Tip Although registration is not required, it provides a significant number of legal rights and procedural advantages.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) allows businesses to register trademarks and servicemarks. Marks serve to identify and distinguish a source of goods or services from those of other businesses. Marks can consist of a word, phrase, symbol, or design, or a combination thereof. They differ from copyrights, which protect original artistic or literary work; and patents, which generally protect inventions.
 
You don’t have to register your mark to establish your rights in it, but registration makes it considerably easier to enforce your rights in the mark. Among other things, registration has the following advantages:
 
  • constructive notice to the public of the your claim of ownership of the mark and helps deter others from using it;
  • a legal presumption of your ownership of the mark and your exclusive right to use the mark nationwide on or in connection with the goods and/or services listed in the registration;
  • the ability to bring an action concerning the mark in federal court;
  • the use of the U.S registration as a basis to obtain registration in foreign countries; and
  • the ability to file the U.S. registration with the U.S. Customs Service to prevent importation of infringing foreign goods.
 
In addition, registration has the added benefit that after five years of unopposed use, the owner may obtain a legal determination that it is “incontestable,” preventing others from attacking the mark on the grounds of, among others, validity, registration, or ownership. Moreover, federal registration provides nationwide protection of your mark; whereas “common law” rights by established merely by using the mark will be limited to the geographic area in which the mark is used.
 
Trademarks must be actively used, and trademark rights will end if the mark is not used for a period of time. To maintain the validity of your registered trademark, you must file an Affidavit of Use between the fifth and sixth year following registration, and within the year before the end of every ten-year period after the date of registration. You must also file a renewal application within the year before the expiration date of your registration.
 

 

Additional Information
Important Tip: 
Although registration is not required, it provides a significant number of legal rights and procedural advantages.
Marketing copy: 
registering your trademarks