This summer, our blog reported that the USPTO canceled the Washington Redskins’ trademark registration. This move, which cited that the team’s name and logo are disparaging, did not force the NFL team to change its name.
Some have described the effect as largely symbolic, which may lead some of our readers to wonder why they should be filing for trademarks in the first place if the Trademark Office can cancel your registration with supposedly little effect. Here are eight good reasons to register your trademark.
1.Federal Registrations can help you detect any problems that might arise as a result of their use during the application process. Before approving your mark, a PTO attorney will notify you of any problems such as a similar registration.
2.Federal Registrations can make your business more attractive to buyers They show that you protected your intellectual property rights and confirm the value of your business.
3.Federal Registrations can be used by U.S. Customs to prevent the import of infringing products.
4.Federal Registration provides the basis for registering your mark in foreign countries.
5.Federal Registration enables you to file suit in federal court.
6.Federal Registration is evidence of your ownership of the mark. Your ownership of the registration qualifies as evidence in a lawsuit and its practical effect is generally stronger than other evidence.
7.Federal Registration notifies others of your rights. Anyone can search the USPTO database and see which marks you own. This avoids trouble because competitors will want to avoid infringing your rights.
8.Federal Registration provides the owner with nationwide priority. By filing your application, your claim to the right is reserved throughout the entire country. This way, you have priority over any business acquiring confusingly similar rights. Nobody can prevent you from using your rights in another part of the country. In contrast, under common law, two businesses can operate with the same name as long as their territories are far enough apart.