Brand development requires distinctive marks used to identify your goods or services. Registration of these marks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office ” USPTO” confers a number of benefits. Here are some of the most important.
1. Exclusive Nationwide use of the trademarks for branding and building sales through advertising and marketing, therefore creating goodwill in the marketplace for your goods and services.’
2. After a trademark is on the Principal Register for 5 years, the mark becomes incontestable, creating a presumption in favor of the mark holder as to its validity.
3. Display ® symbol Notice of Registration that confers the right to receive profits and damages in an infringement lawsuit without proving that the infringer had actual notice of the registration.
4. Federal registration eases subsequent international registration under the Madrid Protocol affording your trademark recognition in the 92 member states (Countries) that were signatories at April 15, 2014
5. Application for a Federal Registration can be based on the Intent to Use provision. This allows applicants with a bona-fide intent to use the mark in commerce to have the mark examined before the need to actually use the mark in commerce. This may be helpful for new product branding before introduction. Intent to Use Applications are initially for 6 months but can be extended up to total of 36 months.
6. Federal registration also confers the right to receive enhanced damages including trebled damages if the Infringer is found to have acted in bad faith.
7. Federal registration also helps the trademark owner prevent cyberpiracy. Remedies, including injunctive relief and treble damages, are provided against those who traffic in domain names or engage in other harmful acts.
8. The federal registration scheme provides a Supplemental Register for those marks found to be descriptive, yet capable of acquiring distinctiveness as a one source identifying mark. Surnames and geographic terms are often registered here until secondary meaning of distinctiveness is acquired and the mark is ripe for federal registration on the Principal Register.
9. Trade dress such as packaging and design may be a source identifier and therefore serve as a registered mark provided it is not part of the functionality of the product.
10. Famous marks under the federal registration scheme are protected from dilution by either blurring or tarnishment, which is any lessening of the capacity of the famous mark to identify and distinguish good or services, regardless of the likelihood of confusion that is required for infringement.
For any business seeking to develop branded products and services, federal registration offers considerable advantages over common law rights and those afforded through state registration.
The information provided on this Website and Blog is strictly the opinion of the author, general in nature, does not constitute legal advice and is considered Attorney advertising.