Importance of Federal Registration

It’s true that you start acquiring rights in a trademark just by using it, but, without a federal trademark registration, you miss out on significant benefits.

For example, if you use your trademark but do not register it, your rights will be limited to the geographic areas where you use it. But, if you register your trademark, the registration affords you nationwide rights. A trademark registration also puts third parties on notice of your ownership of the trademark and operates as a legal presumption that you own the mark. And if you keep your registration in effect for five years from the date of registration, your mark will become incontestable, which means third parties can no longer challenge the validity of your mark on certain grounds, such as descriptiveness. In addition, a federal registration allows you to recover more money in damages if you have to sue someone for trademark infringement in court. Last but not least, a registration lets you use the nifty ® symbol.