Registering a trademark, while not always necessary is highly recommended. This is true particularly for companies who have some innovative products or services that may one day have a great impact on the public. Having a company mark registered would allow them to be easily identified by the consumers from among many companies that are into the same industry.
Aside from the marketing aspect, there are also other significant advantages to having a company mark registered. Some of these are:
- You will be able to provide the public a constructive notice of your claim of ownership of the mark.
- You will have legal presumption of ownership of, as well as the exclusive right to use, the mark in connection with the products or services listed in the registration.
- You will have the ability to take action in a federal court against any perceived infringement upon your registered mark.
- You will be able to use your trademark registration in the United States as a basis when trying to obtain registration in other countries.
- You will have the ability to file your trademark with US Customs and Border Protection so as to stop the importation of infringing foreign products.
Things to Know Before Registering Your Trademark
There are two systems, the common and the federal, in the trademark law. Under the common-law trademark protection system, your trademark will be protected only within your state. This type of trademark protection system is best for businesses that are focused on local operations, just like a mom-and-pop store located in your backyard.
If you are planning, however, to use the Internet in an attempt to broaden your customer base, then registering your trademark under the Federal protection system would be a step in the right direction. In fact, if your business gets its supplies from an out-of-state entity, which would qualify such trade activity as interstate commerce, then getting federal protection is your best option.
Before you Register
Before you register your mark or symbol, you have to first conduct an in-depth research on whether it is already being used by another company or not. Bear in mind that displaying a mark that bears a close resemblance to a trademark that is already owned by another company can cause a legal headache.
Even if you were the first one to use a particular phrase or mark, and have been using it for several decades, it does not automatically mean you possess legal right over that phrase or mark. If someone else registers it ahead of you and starts to market their goods or service under it, then you will have a difficult time proving in court that it is really yours. It is therefore prudent to immediately register your own original mark or phrase once you find out that no one else is using it.