Under United States Law you can establish rights in a trademark simply by using it. However, owning a federal trademark registration on the Principal Register provides several key advantages:
- Constructive notice to the public of your ownership of the trademark
- Your exclusive right to use the trademark nationwide
- The law recognizing your federal trademark registration certificate as automatic proof of your trademark rights.
- The ability to use your U.S trademark registration as a basis to obtain registration in foreign countries
- The ability for you to file the U.S. registration with the U.S. Customs Service to prevent importation of infringing foreign goods
If you are currently using a trademark and do not register it with the USPTO, a newcomer using the exact same mark in another part of the country could enter your territory with a federal trademark registration for the identical mark you are using. He or she could use their federal trademark protection to bring expensive litigation against you over the trademark mark. Not only could you incur unnecessary litigation expenses, you could suffer losses from any investments you have made in your business and take away any goodwill you have nurtured with your client base.
Don’t let that happen to you. The Law Offices of Karen J. Bernstein has over a decade of experience filing trademark applications. Contact us for a Free Introductory Consultation and a Fee Schedule.
If you have a bona fide intention to launch a product or service in the next six months and you intend to use a mark in connection with those products or services in interstate commerce, it is advisable that you file an Intent To Use Application (the “ITU Application”) with the USPTO, The upside of filing an ITU Application is that it preserves your rights against others throughout the United States even though you have yet to launch your new product or service in the next six months. By filing an ITU Application, you may preserve your trademark rights over others who could apply for the same mark within the six-month period. You will also have the ability to file an Extension of Time form to actually use the mark for an additional fee. Every six months, you can file an extension with the PTO for yet another six months up to three years (if you comply with certain PTO requirements) to keep your application alive. Once you actually use the mark, you will then need to file a Statement of Use, which requires an additional fee.
Please contact The Law Offices of Karen J. Bernstein today to see if you qualify to file an ITU Application and we will send you a Fee Schedule.