Federal trademark registration has many advantages for startup companies and small businesses. In my opinion, it’s one of the best investments a startup company can make. Below is a list of benefits for trademarking your startup’s name, logo, or slogan.
1. Filing a federal trademark application creates a public listing of your trademark in the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s online database. A routine trademark search will reveal your claimed trademark (even if the application is still pending), thus deterring many competitors from attempting to use your trademark and preventing disputes before they arise.
2. Once registered, you will have the exclusive right to use the trademark in the United States in connection with the goods or services listed in the registration application.
3. Once registered, the USPTO will protect your trademark by refusing to register trademarks that are similar or confusing to potential customers, therefore facilitating your startup’s ability to create a strong brand.
4. Obtaining a registration makes enforcement of your trademark rights much easier. Most social media websites respect the intellectual property rights of trademark owners and will remove infringing profiles or content with proof of a federal trademark registration. Having a registered trademark also adds to the persuasiveness of a cease and desist letter in the event that you have to contact an infringer directly.
5. Obtaining a federal trademark registration gives you the ability to file a lawsuit in federal court if someone infringes on your trademark rights. The court will also grant the trademark holder a legal presumption of ownership of the trademark, which makes it difficult for an infringer to challenge a registered trademark owner in court. In some cases, a trademark owner may even be entitled to treble damages and attorney fees, thus creating a significant financial incentive to register your trademark.
6. A U.S. trademark registration can be used as a basis to obtain registrations in foreign countries.
7. Obtaining a federal trademark registration gives you the right to use the “®” symbol.