If you have a new product or service and would like to establish a brand name, then it may make sense to try to establish protection for your brand name, by filing for federal trademark registration.

A trademark defined

A trademark is a word, phrase, sound, symbol, color or design, or some combination of these elements, that sets apart goods and services made by one company from goods and services made by another company. Easily recognized examples include the Nike swoosh or the Target bullseye.

If you are thinking about trying to register your trademark, a trademark search – while not required – is a good idea, to determine if anyone else has already obtained trademark protection for the mark, for similar goods and services as yours. If the search doesn’t turn up any close trademarks, the next step is filing a trademark application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

While you can start to establish trademark rights simply by using a trademark in connection with a product or service, federal registration provides a number of important benefits.

Benefits of registering a trademark

Registering a trademark establishes your right to use your trademark nationwide in connection with the goods and services included in the application.

Federal registration provides a number of additional benefits. These include the right to use the registered trademark symbol ®, the right to file a trademark infringement lawsuit in federal court and to thus obtain monetary remedies. It also prevents someone else from registering another confusingly similar trademark.

In addition, you will have the ability to register your trademark with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which may help prevent any foreign goods infringing your trademark from entering the country.