Registering your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) gives you several important advantages over unregistered trademark owners.
Advantages over unregistered trademark owners including:
- Nationwide priority to the mark for the specific goods as of the application filing date.
- Ability to use the “®” symbol next to the mark on your goods and advertising.
- A presumption of validity, ownership, and exclusive use of the mark.
- Ability for the mark to become “incontestable” after 5 years of registration, limiting others’ ability to challenge the mark as being merely descriptive.
- USPTO will refuse federal registration of confusingly similar marks.
- Ability to sue in federal court to enforce your rights.
- Ability to record the mark with Customs and Border Protection, who will block imports of infringing goods.
- Ability to more easily file for trademark protection in foreign countries.
Registration is undoubtedly a key way to strengthen your trademark and the goodwill it represents. Most registration applications can be filed online, and it typically takes between 6 months and a year for the USPTO to approve an application.
For more information about this topic, contact Frank Knizner.