A company’s name, mark and logo are valuable assets and should be protected. Although, a trademark owner can obtain trademark rights through use, there are numerous benefits to registering a trademark. Five of the top benefits to registering a trademark in the United States are as follows:

1.         Nationwide Protection

Registering a trademark grants the trademark owner the exclusive right to use the mark in connection with the goods and services identified in the registration nationwide, even if your mark is only used in one state. Since many businesses begin in a limited geographic area, national expansion may be met with conflict without a federal trademark. That is because anybody who uses your mark after you in a different territory than you, and does so prior to your federal registration, will have the ability to stop you from expanding your use of the mark in the particular region of the country in which they have established their business.

2.         Deters Others From Adopting The Same Or Confusingly Similar Mark

Once the mark is registered you have the right to put a ® symbol adjacent the mark, notifying others to your registration and preventing the defense of innocent infringement. Moreover, use of the ® puts others on notice that you value and will protect your intellectual property rights which may deter use of this mark by third parties.

In addition, your mark will appear on trademark searches conducted by others considering adopting a mark that is similar to yours. Most businesses who uncover your prior mark will chose another mark to avoid the possibility of conflict at a later date.  Further, The United States Patent and Trademark Office will likely refuse to register any trademarks by others it deems confusingly similar to the registered trademark.

3.         Trademark Registrations Offer Advantages In Court

Trademark Registrations offer advantages if the mark is challenged in a lawsuit or administrative proceeding. By registering a trademark, the trademark owner receives the presumptions of valid registration and ownership. Further, Trademark Registrations can become “incontestable” after five years of continuous use. If incontestability is granted, you can eliminate some of the difficult challenges to your mark such as allegations that your mark is confusingly similar to another mark or that it is merely functional or descriptive of your goods or services.

4.         Trademark Registrations Provide The Trademark Owner With Greater Remedies

Registering a trademark grants the trademark owner the right to recover up to triple damages and possibly attorney fees from an infringer who willfully infringes your mark.

5.         Assistance From U.S. Customs And Boarder Protection In Seizing Counterfeit Goods

Registered trademarks can be recorded with the United States Customs and Boarder Protection (CBP) to assist CBP in its efforts to prevent the importation of goods that infringe registered marks. CBP officers monitor imports to prevent the importation of goods bearing infringing marks, and can access the recordation database in over 300 ports of entry.

To discuss the benefits of registering your company’s trademark, or your business and its intellectual property generally, please contact:

Cynthia B. Stevens at:

(312) 368-0100 / cstevens@lgattorneys.com