Trademark protection is extremely important because it ensures that a company’s brand doesn’t get tarnished by misuse, and that customers don’t get outright stolen by a competitor due to unauthorized use. While common law trademark rights afford a certain level of protection since ownership of a mark is established the moment that mark is used, the best way to ensure that your trademark is truly protected in both the short term and the long term is to register it with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The benefits of trademark registration are wide-ranging, including the ability to take legal action if someone ever violates your intellectual property rights. Simply put, making sure that your trademark is officially registered can have a significant impact on your company’s bottom line.
To learn more about the advantages of trademark registration, keep reading this blog.
Why Should You Register Your Trademark with the USPTO?
Although you have common law trademark rights the moment you begin using your product or service, there are a number of exclusive rights that come when you formally register your trademark with the USPTO. Some of the most significant benefits of trademark registration include the following:
- You get trademark rights in every state and U.S. territory. Regardless of how limited your use may be, official recognition of your mark by the USPTO will give you trademark protection in all 50 states. This could be especially important if a competitor ever infringes on your trademark in a state or region where you don’t normally do business.
- You can use the trademark registration symbol. You are not allowed to use the trademark registration symbol ® on your product packaging or any other product-related materials (e.g., a website, advertisements, etc.) until your trademark is registered with the USPTO. When people see this symbol, it can offer immediate credibility because they will know that you have obtained an official trademark. Moreover, the ® symbol can also have the effect of discouraging others from possibly trying to infringe on your trademark because they know that doing so will expose them to liability.
- Your trademark will be entered in the USPTO database. The USPTO maintains an online database of all trademarks that have been officially registered in the United States. The database includes information about the trademark, whether the trademark is registered for a good or service, and the date on which the trademark registered. The federal trademark register serves as notice to anyone who might think about violating your trademark, whether the infringement is intentional or unintentional. The USPTO will be able to quickly identify your trademark in the database if anyone ever attempts to register a similar trademark. Additionally, since all marks listed in the database are enforceable, your competitors will know that you can sue them in federal court if they violate your trademark.
- You can file a trademark lawsuit in federal court. One of the most important benefits of trademark registration is that you will be able to enforce your trademark with legal action. Although common law trademark rights exist, only a registered trademark holder can file a Lanham Act claim in U.S. district court, which is how you pursue damages when someone violates your trademark. Beyond that, if your case does reach trial, the fact that you have a trademark registration certificate may be sufficient as proof that you own the trademark.
- You will have trademark licensing rights. Intellectual property rights can be incredibly valuable, and not just because they are enforceable as a way to ensure brand integrity and maintain your share of the market. When your trademark is registered with the USPTO, it will open up another potential revenue stream by allowing you to sell, license, or otherwise transfer your trademark rights in the future.
Contact the Los Angeles Trademark Lawyers at Tauler Smith LLP
The L.A. trademark attorneys at Tauler Smith LLP have a comprehensive understanding of intellectual property laws, and they are ready to protect your interests in both California state court and federal court. Call us anytime at 310-590-3927 to discuss your trademark case. You can also fill out the online contact form to schedule an initial consultation.