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5 reasons to federally register your Trademarks

Technically, a business does not need to register its Trademarks with the federal government. Using Trademarked property, such as by putting your company logo in your advertising materials, is considered to be enough to establish Intellectual Property rights under common law.

But in reality, registering is almost always the smarter move. It is generally easier to defend a registered Trademark in court, if necessary. This can save your business time and money if you ever need to protect a Trademark -- or defend yourself from accusations of Trademark infringement.

Here are five good reasons to go through federal Trademark registration:

1. It gives constructive nationwide notice of your ownership claim. (That is, it is presumed that other parties should know about the Trademark, even if they actually don’t.)

2. Registration is itself evidence that you own the Trademark.

3. Having a registered Trademark allows you to have a legal dispute handled in federal court, if you prefer.

4. Registration is a valid basis for registering your Trademark in other countries.

5. Similarly, you may file your registered Trademark with U.S. Customs Service to prevent foreign goods that infringe on your Trademark from being imported into the country.

Once your Trademarked material has been registered at the federal level, you may use the federal registration symbol, which is the capitol R inside a circle that we have all seen. Other symbols, like TM and SM, represent state, local or foreign protections that are unrelated.

For more information, or for help registering your Trademarks, please speak to an Intellectual Property lawyer.

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