While any trademark provides some protection to your brand, registering your trademark solidifies that protection into an actionable defense of the products your business produces. Any growing company should ensure that the pieces of their brand are trademarked, not only for their protection but also for the massive benefits they provide:
1. Nationwide Protection
After registering your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), it gains protections in all fifty states, not just the area your business operates in. Without this registration, your business may only defend the trademark in areas where your products are sold. Even if you’re not currently planning on expanding into other states, this helps protect your brand from imitators, a phenomenon known as trademark dilution. In trademark dilution, a third party uses similar marks to yours, which may lead to negative associations created before your brand even reaches that area – or even worse, similar sentiment washing over to the area where your business does operate, and worsening your reputation.
2. Online Sales
Some online retailers require trademark registration before they will enforce any protections against infringement on their platform. As way of example, Amazon uses the Amazon Brand Registry, which can be used to remove infringing products on their online marketplace. Amazon and similar companies will not allow your business to take advantage of this program without a properly registered trademark, leaving imitators to sell similar products online. Once registered, the program allows businesses to file complaints with sellers who they feel are infringing on their trademarks.
3. A Better Case
Registering your trademark gives a better starting point for legal action, should it ever become necessary. Without a registered mark, the process of proving infringement becomes significantly more complicated than with a registered mark. A registered mark gains the presumption that its owner has exclusive rights to its use, and an infringer has the burden of proof that they either did not infringe upon it or that they have the right to use it. This significantly reduces the amount of work needed to establish your case and results in significantly different outcomes than that of unregistered trademarks.
The most important factor in litigating your trademark dispute is, however, working with an experienced and knowledgeable trademark attorney. Monitoring, enforcing, and litigating trademarks isn’t an easy process, but Trembly Law is here to help. Contact us today at (305) 985-4571 for assistance with your trademark needs.