The Trademark Registration Process in The United States

In the United States, trademark rights are “common law” in nature, meaning that some trademark rights are acquired simply by selling goods and services designated by a particular mark in the U.S. However, there are significant benefits to registering trademarks with the U.S.Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).

Following is a summary of the benefits of and process for filing for trademark registration in the U.S.

Benefits of Registering Trademarks -

A federal trademark registration conveys the following benefits:

• Public notice of your claim of ownership of the mark;

• A legal presumption of your ownership of the mark and your exclusive right to use the mark nationwide on or in connection with the goods/services listed in the registration;

• The ability to bring an action concerning the mark in federal court;

• The use of the U.S. registration as a basis to obtain registration in foreign countries;

• The ability to record the U.S. registration with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Service to prevent importation of infringing foreign goods;

• The right to use the federal registration symbol ®;

• Listing in the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s online databases

• The ability to maintain the trademark registration for as long as the mark is in use; and

• The ability for the registration to obtain an “incontestable” status after five years of registration, which significantly restricts the grounds on which others can challenge registration...

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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