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Why it’s Smart to Register a Trademark in the U.S.

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Last Updated on May 31, 2024 by Sachin Jaiswal

Trademarks are very valuable to businesses because they help them stand out in the market, make their goods stick out in a competitive market. When you file a brand in the US market, you get a lot of perks that go beyond just security. Registering a brand in the U.S. is a smart move that protects intellectual property, helps a business stay ahead of the competition, and is effective in the long run. It gives you the exclusive right to use the mark, the ability to increase the value of your brand, and the opportunity to be watched at customs. This blog examines the strong reasons any business that wants to protect its marketplace and brand name shouldn’t have to get an American trademark.

What is a Trademark?

A trademark is a word, phrase, picture, or pattern that makes a product or service easy to identify and track back to its source. It acts as an individual identification, separating goods and services from those available. Well-known trademarks like the “Swoosh” from Nike, the arches from McDonald’s, and the Apple sign from Apple show how these symbols become closely linked to the companies they stand for. Important parts of intellectual property rights and brands are protected by law to keep the originality and purity of a business’s goods.

Trademarks protect a company’s originality and image by establishing brand ownership and stopping others from using it without permission. All things considered, trademarks are important for putting items apart both legally and commercially and for fostering customer understanding and attachment. They are useful tools for preserving their marketplace and brand image, as they are vital assets that support companies in defending their brand identity, building market presence, and sticking out in a competitive environment.

Benefits of US Trademark Registration

Exclusive Rights to Use the Mark:

You have exclusive rights to use the trademark for the goods or services mentioned upon trademark registration, which also stops other people from using the same or a mark that is confusingly similar in business. You may now prevent anyone from applying for your mark without permission.

Ownership and Validity Presumptions:

Anyone disputing the validity of a registered brand weighs proof since the mark is considered real and owned by the registrant. This helps your legal situation should you have to enforce the mark.

® Symbol Usability:

Once registered, you can notify people of your federal registration using the ® sign to tell them of your rights and stop any infringers. That improves and makes your brand more special.

Customs Monitoring Eligibility:

Registration of a brand with U.S. Customs and Border Protection allows Customs to keep an eye on and collect bogus goods at the border. This protects illegal goods from your name.

More Brand Value:

Registration of a trademark shows that you have taken action to protect your brand and reveals your seriousness about your business to investors, customers, and possible buyers. This might raise your business’s worth and goodwill.

Nationwide Constructive Notice:

By giving your claim of ownership active warning across the country, registration stops others from saying they unknowingly adopted the mark without knowing they were violating your rights. If you need to bring an infringement claim, this fortifies your case.

Competency to File Lawsuit in Federal Court:

Federal court defence of registered trademarks gives access to federal courts and remedies, which include attorney’s fees and treble damages. State courts alone are the exclusive places for the control of unauthorised trademarks.

Ability to Register in Other Countries Using U.S. Registration:

Building a worldwide trademark portfolio and protecting your brand when you enter new markets are made possible by using U.S. trademark registration as a base to secure registrations in other countries.

Qualification for Registration of U.S. Trademark

Applications for U.S. trademark registration must meet specific standards set by the USPTO. Principal causes include:

  • The candidate must be using the mark in business or plan to use it in business. This means the mark must be used in national trade, which the United States Congress may control when selling or moving goods or services.
  • The federal legislation controlling trademark registration, the Lanham Act, must not bar the application from filing the mark. This covers marks that are false, general, only descriptive, or prone to mistakes with already registered marks.
  • Registration of U.S. trademarks is open to individuals, businesses, limited liability companies, partnerships, and other legal groups. Foreign individuals and companies are also qualified, although they must have a U.S.-licensed attorney represent them in all trademark issues before the USPTO.

Applicants who meet these eligibility standards and successfully finish the application process can get important federal trademark rights and brand protection.

Search for Trademarks and File Applications

Filing an application and doing a U.S. trademark search includes a few important phases:

  • Before sending an application, a full trademark search must be conducted. This involves reviewing common law and USPTO records for any possible problems with already-existing trademarks.
  • When the search is finished, the USPTO can be called or filed online with the trademark application. The application asks for important information like the mark, goods/services, and applicant data, along with paying the $350 filing fee per class.
  • The USPTO will give the application a unique number after filing, and it should appear on the application’s website in 14 days. The application is usually reviewed three to four months after filing.
  • If the examining attorney complains or asks for changes, an office action will be issued. To prevent abandonment, the application has six months to respond.
  • Should the mark be accepted, it will be released in the Trademark Official Gazette for a 30-day opposition time. A Certificate of Registration will be given by the USPTO, providing no objections are made.
  • To avoid abandonment, applicants of intent-to-use applications have 36 months from the Notice of Allowance to provide proof of use or ask for extensions every six months.
  • If no big problems arise, it usually takes 9–12 months to receive a registration. Proper paperwork and advice from a U.S. attorney are important for non-U.S. applicants.

Examination and Publication

Following filing with the USPTO, a trademark-examining attorney studies the application to ensure the mark meets all legal requirements for registration. The attorney examines the application, sketch, and sample given to look for any conflicting trademarks.

If the examining attorney sees no problems, the mark will be accepted for publication in the weekly USPTO Official Gazette. After that, it will be made public for a 30-day opposition period, during which time any party that thinks the registration may have hurt them may register an opposition.

Should no oppositions be made within this time, or should any that be, the USPTO will give the trademark a Certificate of Registration. The goods and services listed in the register give the owner exclusive national rights to use the mark.

Maintenance and Renewal

Trademark applications must be kept to ensure their security and ongoing validity. This is filing the relevant trademark office’s regular paperwork. A Declaration of Use (Section 8) showing that the mark is still being used for the mentioned goods or services must be filed between the fifth and sixth year following registration in the United States. To continue the registration for a further ten years, a Renewal Application (Section 9) must also be filled out every ten years.

Should these files be abandoned, the trademark owner may face dire results. If the necessary papers are not sent in by the time, the registration can be cancelled or let to expire. This opens the mark to third-party infringement and may cost the brand owner their exclusive right to use it. Keeping a trademark registered is important to protecting the brand’s reputation, avoiding customer misunderstanding, and keeping the mark useful as a business asset.

Conclusion

Finally, getting a trademark in the United States has many benefits for protecting your trademark. Any company would gain from its exclusive rights to use the mark, national authority, and official assumption of ownership. It also makes the security of domain names, greater value in a firm sale, and safety against infringing goods possible. A smart investment for any company worried about growth and brand protection, it also allows registration with key markets and federal court authority. Talking with a trademark lawyer is crucial if you consider registering your brand to find out if it is the proper move for you. They can guard your mark and walk you through the steps.

Sachin Jaiswal

Sachin Jaiswal B.A.(Hons)! Sachin Jaiswal has been writing material on his own for more than five years. He got his B.A.(Hons) in English from the well-known University of Delhi. His success in this job is due to the fact that he loves writing and making material that is interesting. He has worked with a lot of different clients in many different fields, always giving them high-quality content that their target audience will enjoy. Through his education and work experience, he is able to produce high-quality content that meets his clients' needs.