Importance of Trademark Registration PDF Print E-mail

Acquiring Rights in a Trademark 

Registration of a trademark is not required.  Under the common law, a person acquires rights in a mark based on legitimate use of the mark. However, owning a federal trademark registration on the Principal Register provides several advantages, e.g.,

  • constructive notice to the public of the registrant's claim of ownership of the mark;
  • a legal presumption of the registrant's ownership of the mark and the registrant's 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.

Registering a Mark with a State

Registration of a federal mark requires the mark be used in connection with the sale of goods or services in "interstate commerce," which means from one state to another state.  Local companies that don't do business across state lines may nevertheless register their trademark with the State of California or any other state.

Use the trademark symbols TM, SM and ®?

Any time you claim rights in a mark, you may use the "TM" (trademark) or "SM" (service mark) designation to alert the public to your claim, regardless of whether you have filed an application with the USPTO.

However, you may use the federal registration symbol "®" only after the USPTO actually registers a mark, and not while an application is pending. Also, you may use the registration symbol with the mark only on or in connection with the goods and/or services listed in the federal trademark registration.

 

 

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"For over 10 years, Michael has been my company and personal lawyer, helping us with everything from trademarks to disputes. His knowledge, skill and commitment to helping me grow my business has been invaluable."

Marshall Stuart
Stuart Cellars Winery

 

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Zuroma Restaurant Group, Inc.

 

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Briar Rose Winery, Inc

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