The cardinal benefit of a federal trademark registration is protecting your investment, and preventing others from capitalizing on that investment. The major benefits are listed below.
Benefits of Trademark Registration
A federal trademark registration on the principal register provides:
- Nationwide rights to exclusively use the trademark with the goods/services listed in the registration
- A legal presumption of your ownership of the trademark in connection with the goods/services listed in the registration
- Public notice of your claim to use the trademark in relation to the goods/services listed in the registration
- The ability to bring an action regarding the trademark in federal court
- The right to use the federal registration symbol, ®
- The ability to list your goods with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service to prevent the importation of infringing foreign goods.
- The opportunity to use your registration as a basis for foreign trademark registration
- The ability to collect treble damages (triple the amount of damages) for intentional infringement
- The ability to collect attorney fees in infringement actions
- Increased public visibility which provides deterrence to third-parties from adopting your trademark
- The ability to file for incontestability status after five years, which prevents others from arguing your trademark is confusingly similar to another trademark, that it lacks secondary meaning (meaning the public does not associate your name with your goods/services), or that it is functional
Key Federal Trademark Registration Benefits
The two most important benefits are exclusion and protection.
- You can exclude others from using your trademark, nationwide. This not only means those located in the U.S., but also anyone selling goods in the U.S., wherever they are located.
- In addition, it provides protection from businesses that claim you are infringing their trademark. Essentially, you can say “No. I’m not. Here’s my U.S. federal registration to prove it.” Essentially, a federal registration is evidence of your right to use your mark nationwide.