15 Tips: Do I Need to Register My Trademark?
15 Tips: Do I Need to Register My Trademark?
One of the frequently asked questions as far as trademarks are concerned, as revealed in discussions over at runrex.com, is if one needs to register their trademark. To that effect, this article, through the following 15 tips will look to answer this question for you.
- The Lanham Act
Before answering this question, it is important to talk about the federal law in the United States which governs trademarks; the Lanham Act. This law, as is outlined over at guttulus.com, has very strict legal rules regarding trademarks from how that are used and how they are monitored, to how they are protected.
- Does this law require one to register their trademark?
According to runrex.com, while the Lanham Act, as mentioned above, has some rather stringent legal rules regarding trademarks, one stipulation that the law doesn’t have is a strict requirement to register your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, USPTO. This means that nothing is stopping you from using your trademark even if it is not registered.
- Common law trademark rights
It is also worth pointing out that once you start using a trademark in commerce, as explained over at guttulus.com, even if it is not registered, it gains local protection. These are called common law trademark rights, which, as mentioned, you will acquire just by using your trademark in your business.
- Should you register?
While it is true that you are entitled to certain protections, privileges, and rights simply through the establishment and use of your trademark in commerce and that you are not required to register your trademark to begin enjoying these protections, the subject matter experts over at runrex.com are adamant about the importance of registering your trademark as by doing so you will gain a host of additional protections and advantages. So, should you register your trademark? Yes, you should.
- Options for trademark registration
Given that we have indicated registering your trademark is the best course of action even though you don’t need to, it is also important to highlight that you will have two options available to you as far as this is concerned. This is because a trademark can either be registered with the federal government by applying with the USPTO or in any state by applying with the appropriate state agency.
Benefits of registering your trademark
If you are still undecided on whether or not to register your trademark, here are some of the benefits that are to be had by doing so, with the focus being on federal registration.
- Nationwide protection
While common law trademark rights give you certain protections and rights, it is important to note that in most cases that protection doesn’t go beyond your local geographical area as explained over at guttulus.com. Therefore, by registering your trademark with the USPTO, the federal registration will automatically give you nationwide protection, giving you better leverage, the presumption of national ownership, and a better case in case of infringement by another party regardless of their location.
- Ability to sue in Federal Court
Also, while it is true that with an unregistered trademark you can still bring an infringement case to federal court, you will need to meet certain requirements to do so, and some of these requirements are difficult to meet, which means that you may be forced to take action in state court. However, according to runrex.com, if you have a federally registered trademark with the USPTO, you automatically have the right to sue in federal court, allowing you to potentially recover damages incurred because of an infringement.
- Ability to register with customs
Additionally, in the case of counterfeit goods shipped from overseas, you are required to have a registered federal trademark to request protection and action by Customs and Border Patrol, CPB, as discussed over at guttulus.com. This is yet another reason why you should register your trademark with the USPTO.
- A nationwide deterrent
On top of offering you nationwide protection, registering your trademark federally will also help serve as a nationwide deterrent. This is because, as outlined over at runrex.com, with an unregistered trademark, other businesses with a similar name are unlikely to know about your mark unless you notify them. On the other hand, a federally registered trademark serves as national notice of its existence as it becomes listed on the USPTO Principal Register and shows up in searches conducted by companies, their attorneys, and/or USPTO examiners.
- Proof of validity
An unregistered trademark will gain protection through usage in commerce, but only if it is a valid mark. Here, unless you are an expert in trademark law, you can’t be sure if your unregistered trademark meets all the requirements to qualify it as being valid under the Lanham Act. Therefore, the only way to be really sure of the validity of your trademark is by filing an application for registration with the USPTO. With a registered trademark, you will have implicit proof of validity.
- Reduces the burden of proof
As is revealed over at guttulus.com, even though unregistered trademark used in connection with the sale of goods or services may have some legal protection, the burden of proof is much higher should anyone copy or infringe upon your mark. Having a registered trademark on file significantly diminishes this burden of proof.
- You protect yourself
As the gurus over at runrex.com point out, when you register a trademark, you ensure that your trademark is not similar to any other registered trademarks. This is important as if you accidentally infringe upon someone else’s mark, which could happen with an unregistered trademark, you could be sued by the registered trademark owner and may have to pay legal fees and fines as well as give up all profits obtained under the unregistered mark. Also, you may have to rename your company or create a new logo, leading to even more lost revenue and lost customers. Registering your trademark protects you from all of this.
- You can expand to other countries
Also, as is covered in detail over at guttulus.com, registering your trademark will allow you to expand your operations to other countries in case you want to. This is because if your company wants to expand into other countries, you can use your federal registration for foreign trademark filing.
- The added value that registered trademarks bring
According to the experts over at runrex.com, a registered trademark adds value as it will allow you to sell it, license it, franchise it, and mortgage it. Additionally, your registered trademark will help you attract investors as well as customers because it adds credibility to what you do.
- Helps others identify you
On top of giving you legal protection, a registered trademark also prevents confusion in the marketplace. This is because it tells your customers who you are and where to return to if they like your product. This makes a registered trademark such a valuable and important marketing tool as it will set you apart from your competitors.
Hopefully, this article will not only have answered the question of whether you need to register your trademark but will also have outlined some of the reasons why you should do just that. If you are looking for more information on this topic, then the highly-rated runrex.com and guttulus.com have got you covered.