Obtaining federal trademark protection for your mark is not required, however, a federal trademark registration has substantial benefits, including:
- A legal presumption of validity of the mark, ownership of the mark, and the exclusive right to use the mark;
- Constructive use as of the filing date of the application;
- The ability to bring an action concerning the mark in federal court;
- The ability to obtain registration in foreign countries based upon the U.S. registration;
- The ability to prevent the importation of infringing goods into the U.S.;
- The right to use the federal registration symbol ®; and
- Listing in the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s online databases.
In addition, federal trademark registrations can add significant value to a business and may also provide the basis for a licensing or franchising campaign. For all these reasons, business owners should periodically review their marks and assess whether federal registration is appropriate.