Why You Should Register Your Trademark With The Federal Government
When your business uses a trademark, you have a choice about whether you register it or not. Your rights as a trademark user fall into three categories:
- Common law usage, which creates a limited set of rights just by the act of using the mark
- State registration, which grants you some additional legal rights within the state you are registered
- Federal registration, which creates the legal presumption that you own the trademark and are free to use it anywhere in the United States
Registering your trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is by far the preferred option. At Frisina, LLC, we advise clients from businesses across Ohio and nationally, and our founding attorney, Dominic A. Frisina, typically counsels businesses to consider federal registration of their trademarks.
Advantages Offered By Federal Trademark Registration
Federal registration of a trademark with the USPTO confers multiple advantages:
- You are allowed to use the registered trademark symbol ® to note your trademark rights.
- You have powerful legal presumptions of validity and ownership.
- Your mark can become incontestable after five years of registration.
- Your trademark will be listed on the USPTO trademark database, and this may deter others from using it.
- You may use the American federal registration of your trademark as the basis for filing for trademark rights in other countries.
How The Federal Registration Process Works
Before you register your mark, you will need to research and select a trademark, identify the goods and/or services to which the trademark will apply, and determine whether your “basis for filing” category is “use in commerce” or “intent to use.” Your case will be assigned to one of the government’s examining attorneys who will conduct their own search and make their own determination about whether you are entitled to a trademark registration, in their opinion. An experienced IP lawyer can help you draft your application and guide you as you negotiate with the USPTO’s examining attorney. You may need to respond to “office actions” and other official correspondence before your trademark registration is granted. You will need to monitor the status of your registration after it is granted and make filings periodically to keep it active.
Protect Your Business Identity With An Experienced IP Attorney
Do not leave trademark issues to chance! Hire an experienced IP lawyer who can guide you successfully through the trademark registration process. Call Frisina, LLC, a Cleveland-based firm, at 440-600-1992, or email us via our online intake form.