Because federal trademark protection exists whether you register your mark or not, many people ask why they should go to the expense of registering. After all, the basic filing fee for a single mark is $325, which does not include future renewal fees or any fees you may pay an attorney to register for you.
Although you may make a legitimate judgment that federal registration is not necessary for your business, there are certain benefits to registering that you should be aware of. These benefits include:
- Registration provides evidence of your mark’s validity and the fact that you own the mark if you ever need to prove these things in court.
- Registration provides national notice to others that you own the mark, decreasing the likelihood that someone else will unknowingly use it.
- Trademark protection requires that use your mark in commerce—registration counts as use in commerce everywhere in the United States.
- Once you register, you can use U.S. Customs to stop others from importing infringing products into the United States.
If you are unsure whether registration is right for your business, it is always advisable to consult with an intellectual property attorney to determine if you will be giving up valuable rights if you do not register. An intellectual property attorney will also help you navigate the differences between state and federal registration, how they differ, and which type of registration will work for your company.