You work hard to establish your business identity making it your company’s greatest asset. Shouldn’t you protect it?
A trademark is a word, name, symbol or device which is used in trade with goods to indicate the source of the goods and to distinguish them from the goods of others. A service mark is the same as a trademark except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product. The terms "trademark" and "mark" are commonly used to refer to both trademarks and service marks.
Owning a federal trademark registration provides several advantages:
- It notices the public and your competitors of your claim of ownership of the mark.
- It gives you a legal presumption of ownership of the mark and your exclusive right to use the mark nationwide on or in connection with the goods and/or services listed in the registration.
- It gives you the ability to bring actions concerning the mark in federal court.
- It gives you a basis to obtain registration in foreign countries.
- It gives you the ability to file your registration with the U.S. Customs Service to prevent importation of infringing foreign goods.
- You get the prestige of being able to use the trademark symbols TM, SM and ® which should also deter potential infringers.
Trademark rights may be used to prevent others from using a confusingly similar mark, but not to prevent others from making the same goods or from selling the same goods or services under a clearly different mark. Trademarks which are used or will be used in interstate or foreign commerce may be registered.
Registering a federal trademark is the most inexpensive insurance policy your business can buy and could be one of the most important business decisions you ever make.