What are the Benefits of a Federal Trademark Registration
Filing a trademark application with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) is one of the most important steps small businesses can take to protect themselves from fraud and distinguish themselves from competitors. Registering a trademark is so important because this federal application offers businesses numerous advantages and protections that are otherwise unavailable.
Once you submit your trademark registration with the U.S. government, you must go through a few key steps. First, the government will make sure that another company is not already using the same or similar trademark to your business. Secondly, you must provide the Patent & Trademark Office with a description for how you plan to use the trademark in commerce. Finally, once your trademark has been officially registered, the government will police and protect you from any infringements. While these are the basic steps and benefits you gain from registering your trademark with the United States Patent & Trademark Office, below are five additional benefits your business can gain by registering your trademark.
After successfully registering your trademark with the USPTO, you will receive official documentation and the legal presumption of national ownership for your trademark. This documentation includes protection for your company’s logo, brand, or other main identifying factors with your company that does not include the actual goods or services your company sells. After viewing your company’s brand as a tangible asset that helps you stand apart from competitors, it is easy to see why registering your trademark with the USPTO is so important.
Notice of Ownership
A federal trademark also gives your business two notification benefits that can greatly help you as your company continues to grow. First, as soon as your trademark registration becomes official, it will be listed on the USPTO’s trademark database. This means that other businesses will be able to quickly and clearly tell that your company has a trademark. Additionally, once you are able to provide proof of registration, you will be able to put a small, circled letter “R” next to your logo or brand-specific name or imagery. Each of these trademark notifications will help you deter most of the individuals and businesses who are looking to use the same or similar logo.
A state copyright registration simply protects your company in one state—significantly limiting the geographic scope of your protections. Thus, if you believe you may try to grow your business in the future—or plan to rely heavily on online commerce—a federal trademark is vital as it gives you stronger protections should a conflict arise.
In addition to complete domestic protection, registering your trademark with the USPTO also protects your company from certain international threats. The first way a trademark protects your company from international issues is by prohibiting international imports of a product that is actively and maliciously attempting to infringe on your brand. While other companies can still manufacture copies of your goods overseas, they will not be able to import these goods into the United States. Secondly, registering your copyright with the USPTO is the first step in registering your brand or logo internationally.
Greater Advantages in Court Cases
Finally, a registered trademark allows you to bring forth legal actions against another individual or business in federal court. Additionally, you will have the burden of proof on your side as the defendant must show that they were not violating your trademark. In certain court cases, if the court rules in your favor, you may be entitled to treble damages (three times the proven damages) if there is a loss of business thanks to a violation of your trademark. You may also have the ability to seek statutory damages instead of a concrete value of damages—greatly increasing the chance that you will win some form of monetary compensation.
Contact Our DC Law Office for More Information
Finally, for more on the benefits of trademark registration, contact us at 202-803-5676. You can also directly schedule a consultation with one of our skilled attorneys. Additionally, for general information regarding business law, check out our blog.