101 Series – Registering a Trademark

What is the Benefit of Registering a Trademark?

Why register a trademark?  By simply using a mark in commerce you get what are called common law rights.  That means that you don’t have to register a trademark to obtain some legal rights.  However, these rights are limited and if you plan on using the brand to create value for your company or to stop others it is better to have a registration, especially a federal registration.  While you may not need to hire an accountant to look after your books or file your taxes, if you do hire one, you may get a lot of benefits from doing so.  The same is for registering a trademark, you may not need to register a trademark, but doing so will typically provide more benefit to you or your company than not doing so.

Hiring a trademark attorney to register your trademark may provide enhanced trademark rights.  For example:

Benefits of Registering a Trademark include use of a federal registration symbol

Official Seal of a registered Trademark

• One benefit of federally registering your trademark is that later applications will be rejected;
• Another benefit of registering a trademark is that you can ask a Judge for an injunction against infringers of your mark;
• You also get the right to use the federal trademark registration symbol: ®; and
• You will get the right to file a trademark infringement lawsuit to prevent use by others and request that the infringer pay money. In some cases the court will award treble (3x) damages and attorney’s fees.

 

Federally Registering a Trademark on the Principal Register for more than 5 years may also provides additional benefits, including a presumption that your trademark is valid that you are the owner of the mark, and that you have the exclusive right to use the registered mark. These can be very helpful if you ever have to stop someone from infringing your trademark by filing a lawsuit to stop them. The registration on the principal register may also provide proof to eliminate any defenses raised by an infringer that their use was justified or in good faith. Federal Registration of your trademark also provides priority of use throughout the United States.

Additional information about trademarks can be found on the trademark section of our website.  If you have any questions about protecting  your trademark rights, please contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys.

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