|Registering a Trademark
What is a trademark?
A trademark can be a symbol, word, name, shape, logo or any combination
to identify and distinguish your goods and services. It is a registration
process under which a name, logo, or characteristic can be identified
What is a service mark?
A service mark is similar to a trademark except that it pertains only to words, symbols, phrases etc. It is used in commerce to identify and distinguish services rather than goods.
Benefits of Registration
It is not an obligation to register your trademark, but it does have several advantages. The following are a few benefits of registering trademarks:
• Considerable notice nationwide of the trademark owner’s
• Evidence of ownership of the trademark
• Registration may be filed with the U.S. Customs Service to prevent importation of infringing
• Jurisdiction of federal courts may be invoked.
• The right to sue for infringement in federal courts.
• Registration can be used as a basis for obtaining registration in foreign countries.
• Increased value in the sale of a business and increased leverage in trademarks disputes.
Before registering, you may want to do a search for all pending, registered
and dead federal trademarks. You may also want to include a search
for common law trademarks. The reason for these searches is that it
will help you determine which marks are in use even if they are not
necessarily registered. It is important to know about unregistered
trademarks because whoever uses a mark first has a greater right to
it although for an unregistered trademark that right is limited to
the geographic location where business is done, where it is likely
to expand and to any areas where reputation is established.
If you are concerned about protecting the recognition and reputation of your new or existing company, the registration of a trademark is a very important consideration.
If you are in the process of starting up a business and choosing your
name, take the time to do some research on existing registered and
un-registered trademarks that pertain to your line of business in
order to avoid confusion and legal action by a trademark holder.