Do you need to register your trademark to protect your brand? No. Trademark rights are created by the use of a name, logo, or slogan to identify goods or services, not by its registration. However, if the trademark you have chosen for your brand is distinctive, you may want to register your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Here are some of the reasons why:
- Registration gives you nationwide priority to use the trademark in your area of trade. Without registration you are only protected in those geographic areas where you are using the trademark;
- Once registered, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will not permit others to register trademarks that are confusingly similar to yours;
- You gain the right to use the ® symbol. This acts as notice to the world that you have a registered trademark. Why is that important? An infringing party cannot claim their use was innocent infringement and avoid liability for monetary damages;
- Registration gives you the possibility of recovering triple the amount of your damages and your attorney's fees incurred in filing a lawsuit to stop the infringement if you can demonstrate that the infringement of your mark was willful and egregious; and,
- A presumption that your trademark is valid, thereby eliminating your need to submit evidence to the court to first prove the validity of your trademark should a lawsuit for infringement become necessary.
For more information on these and other benefits of trademark registration contact Simpson Delmore Greene LLP, at (619) 515-1194.