Although some trademark protection can be conferred without registration and simply by use of your mark in commerce, registration is an important step in fully protecting your trademark for many reasons. Below is a list of several reasons why registering your mark will make it stonger, more valuable to your company and easier to defend if infringed.
- By registering your mark, it puts others on notice that you own the mark. Not only will that keep innocent infringers from even attempting to register their mark, but the US Patent and Trademark Office, by virtue of their duty to decide whether a mark is registerable, will be actively searching for confusingly similar marks and will deny registration to any new applicant whose mark is or may be confusingly similar. This can help keep problems from cropping up in the first place.
- Registration provides for national recognition of the mark as of the date of filing. In some cases, if your mark is not registered, if another entity with a similar mark has been using a mark, they may be entitled to continue using that mark in the geographic area where it has already been used, thereby weakening the strength of your mark and keeping you from being able to use and exploit your mark in that area. Registration of your mark can keep that situation from occuring.
- Will keep others from asserting an “innocent infringer” defense if you ever need to file suit because registration puts other on notice that you are the mark owner.
- By registering the mark, you are granted the right to sue in federal court and in some cases, to recover statutory damages and attorney’s fees. It also eases your burden in showing certain damages, thereby making it easier to recover damages in court.
- Allows you to use the ® symbol after your mark. This also puts others on notice that your mark is registered and tells others that you are serious about protecting your mark.
- Registration makes your business more attractive and valuable to prospective purchasers because it assures any potential buyer that they will be protected in the event someone else tries to exploit the goodwill of the mark.