A Trademark Is A Word, Logo, Sound, Packaging, or Other Identifier of The Source of a Good or Service
Why Register a Trademark? It is the trademark that allows a customer to find your product continually and to expect the same level of quality each and [hopefully] every time. A company’s reputation, goodwill, and customer loyalty is stored in a trademark. Often, a company’s name, logo, and branding are the most valuable assets, each of which, trademark law protects.
The best way to protect a brand is with one or more federal trademark registrations filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). A federal trademark registration provides nation-wide protection in using the mark AND provides assurance that others will not prevent the use of the registered trademark in the future.
In some cases, state trademarks also have value. Many states allow state trademark registration. The rights are limited, but the costs are usually equally modest. State trademarks are beneficial in business that are not in commerce in more than one state nor do they plan to expand to more than one state. In addition, businesses that are legal in a state but illegal under federal law are granted some benefits under state law. Marijuana businesses would fall under this category.
When should one file a trademark? At the moment the first dollar is spent on marketing a brand. Otherwise, it is possible that the money spent on marketing could be wasted if brand cannot be usable in the future.
Why register a trademark?
* Provides exclusive nationwide protection in using the trademark
* Gives assurance that there are [probably] no conflicting trademarks
* Reduces likelihood of 3rd party claiming trademark infringement
* Allows the use of the ® designation
* Gives notice to others of the registration, thereby giving 3rd parties notice to not use the same or similar trademarks
* Prevents 3rd parties from claiming innocent infringement
* Starts the clock to claim incontestability the validity of the trademark cannot be questioned in the future
* Basis for obtaining registration in a foreign country
* Others cannot register a confusingly similar trademark
* Greater remedies in federal court
* Possibility of treble (triple) damages and attorney’s fees from the infringer
* Presumption of validity