When starting a company, your brand is of your most valuable assets. However, an often overlooked area of creating and launching a brand is trademark protection.
Entrepreneurs often wonder whether it is worth filing for a federal trademark. While you establish some rights the moment you start using a brand, there are significant advantages to registering your name, logo, or packaging design.
Here are nine advantages to filing for and obtaining federal trademark protection on the Principal Trademark Register:
- Prima facie evidence of validity and the registrant’s ownership of the mark.
- Constructive nationwide use of the mark.
- Federal court subject matter jurisdiction over infringement and other trademark claims without a showing of diversity or minimum amount in controversy.
- Statutory remedies for federal trademark infringement claims, including, under certain circumstances:
- treble damages; and
- recovery of attorneys’ fees and costs.
- Constructive notice of ownership, which eliminates the defenses of good faith use and innocent adoption.
- The right to use ® and other notices of federal registration.
- After five years the registration may, subject to limited exceptions, become incontestable and be deemed conclusive evidence of the owner’s exclusive rights to use the mark.
- A registration may be recorded with US Customs to stop the importation of infringing, counterfeit, and gray market goods.
- A registration may provide a basis for registering the mark in foreign countries.
Not all trademarks will qualify for the Principal Register. However, understanding your options and the best ways to register and protect your brand is a worthwhile investment. Contact us today to discuss your brand protection strategies with an experienced trademark practitioner.
Founder of Carbon Law Group, Pankaj Raval has been practicing intellectual property and corporate law for ten years. He has worked with budding entrepreneurs, startups, and fast-growing companies. He takes a special interest in helping his clients solve challenging legal and business problems in an effort to build their ventures and make a positive impact on society.