I registered my company do I still need to register a Trademark?
The answer is Yes!
The name of your company is the name used to identify your company and usually used for all tax purposes. This is registered on the state level meaning the same name may be available for use in another state.
Meanwhile, your trademark is federally protected and gives you the right to stop any unauthorized use of the same name in the entire country.
What is a Trademark?
According to the US Patent and Trademark Office, a trademark or service mark, “includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services.”
This typically is your business name, your logo or the name used to identify the products, services and in cases of software companies, apps etc. It is important that the names or logos be unique for easy identification by your customers.
Registering your trademark means you have exclusivity to the use of the name nationwide such that no one else can operate or market any products using that same name. It gives the needed exclusivity that every business requires to thrive in a competitive environment.
Your Trademark gives you the right to legal action. You can sue an unauthorized user for infringement, make them pay fines, profits and legal fees.
You can also record your trademark with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which will ensure no counterfeit goods are imported.
The Symbol, “®”
You can also use the symbol “®” when you are registered. This indicates that you are federally protected and also gives your company a lot of prestige which could translate into more profits.
Burden of Proof
Generally unregistered trademarks have some legal protection but the burden of proof is much higher should someone copy or infringe upon your creation.
A registered trademark on file gives the owner additional protections, including presumed ownership, and diminishes the burden of proof.