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Five Benefits of Trademark Registration

Registration of your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office confers numerous important benefits, which are unavailable in the absence of registration. Here are five notable benefits of registering your trademark.

1. Right to nationwide use.

The holder of a federal trademark has the right to exclusive nationwide use of the trademark where there was no prior use by others. In the absence of registration the owner of a trademark has the right to exclusive use of the trademark only in the geographic area where he has actually used his trademark.

2. Notice to other businesses.

Registering your trademark puts other businesses on notice of your use of the trademark. Registration can help discourage other businesses from using confusingly similar trademarks in the first place by making your trademark easy to find in a trademark availability search. Registration of a trademark also grants the owner of the trademark the right to use the ® symbol, which can help put competitors on notice that you are serious about protecting your rights.

3. Presumption of validity.

Registration of a trademark creates a statutory presumption that the mark is valid, that the registrant is the owner of the trademark, and that the registrant has the exclusive right to use the registered trademark. A registered trademark becomes incontestable, with certain exceptions, after five years of consecutive post-registration use.

4. Right to sue in federal court.

The owner of a registered trademark can sue in federal court for trademark infringement. If the owner can show that the infringement was willful, the owner may recover treble damages and attorney fees.

5. International benefits.

The United States is a party to the Paris Convention along with 174 other countries, which form the Paris Union. Under the Paris Convention, an applicant for trademark registration may apply for trademark protection in any other member country within six months of the original filing. The subsequent application is treated as if it were filed on the date of the original application, meaning that it has priority over applications filed by others during that six-month period for the same mark.

Woods Fuller has experienced trademark attorneys that can assist you with the registration of your trademarks.

Submitted by Joel E. Engel

July 22, 2016