A trademark is considered a very important asset for any business. A trademark can be anything such as logo, a message, a word, shape, sound, color, taste or scent or a combination of any of these.
The Top Ten Benefits of registering your trademark with the USPTO
A trademark is considered a very important asset for any business. A trademark can be anything such as logo, a message, a word, shape, sound, color, taste or scent or a combination of any of these. A trademark is usually an identity of the business that helps in distinguishing the products and services produced by a particular business. Registration of a Trademark is an important requirement as it helps in protecting your brand and your business. You can hire an experienced trademark attorney who can file the trademark application for a trademark as well as get your trademark registered with the USPTO (The United States Patent and Trademark Office).
While creating a trademark or preventing infringement may involve a cost to the business, it is an investment in customer satisfaction and retention. It also increases the visibility of your business, improves sales and the goodwill of your business.
Top Ten Benefits of US Trademark Registration:
1. Your trademark gets recorded in the database of USPTO, once it is approved by a patent examiner. Businesses that see your trademark registered on the US Patent and Trademark Office website will possibly avoid using a similar mark. This also serves a preemptive notice to everyone regarding your trademark rights over the trademark and ultimately reduces the cost involved in potential litigation in the future.
2. Once your trademark is registered with the patent office, the USPTO will decline to register confusingly similar marks which may be conflicting with yours. The office of USPTO is obliged to cite all the previous registrations against any application for confusingly similar marks.
3. Federal trademark registration also gives nationwide recognition to your mark as of the application date. An unregistered mark has limited rights within a certain geographic area. If you haven’t registered your trademark, it’ll give businesses in other geographic locations the right to use similar marks which might lead to loss of revenue and confusion in the minds of your customers.
4. It also gives you the authority to use the symbol ® whenever the trademark is used for the products and services categorized in the registration. It gives your products added marketing status thereby making it known to the competitors about your seriousness about your brand.
5. Trademark registration also authorizes the US Customs and Border Protection to obstruct the imports of goods that are counterfeit or infringe on your trademark. Though for this you have to separately get your mark recorded with Customs.
6. A registered trademark gives rights to the owner to sue a trademark infringement in the federal court. If your trademark is not registered your patent attorney may have to use other means and routes to get a favorable decision in a federal court if there’s a case of infringement.
7. A registered mark also provides a proof of the legality and exclusive ownership of the trademark for the products and services recorded in the registration.
8. Trademark registration in the US will help in your foreign registrations and protect your mark globally once your business expands.
9. You are also entitled to various statutory damages in cases someone produces counterfeits.
10. After you have used the registered trademark for five years straight, you get the right to file your mark considered “incontestable.” This would discourage other businesses from raising possible challenges to your trademark. Additionally, a cease and desist letter carries significant weight which is based on “incontestable” mark.
It is also important to know that “merely descriptive” trademarks of the associated products or services are entitled to registration on the Supplemental Register in accordance with trademark laws. Such registration has some but not all of the benefits mentioned above. For instance, a Supplemental Registration allows the USPTO to restrict the registration of confusingly similar marks. Though a ‘Supplemental Registration’ gets recorded in the USPTO database, it does not prove in the court, your exclusive rights to use the mark. You can, however, get the mark registered with ‘Principal Register’ once it has “acquired distinctiveness”.
Getting a trademark registered in the US is much cheaper than a patent application and filing. You can hire an experienced trademark lawyer who can file your application on the basis of:
i) A “bona fide intent to use” the mark allowing you to reserve a mark essentially for up to three years
ii) Definite or actual use of the trademark in the United States Commerce
iii) Ownership of a foreign registration.
A registered trademark allows you to take a realistic and practical move towards improving your authority. It also helps in saving a huge amount of unpredictable and unexpected court cases in the future.
The intellectual property attorneys at our law firm have the experience before state and federal government courts throughout the United States, including the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the U.S. Copyright Office, the U.S. International Trade Commission, and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.
If you have questions about trademark registrations or your intellectual property rights, give Paul & Paul a call at 866-975-7231, and we’d be happy to help you.