We are often asked what’s the best way to protect your trademark. For years the answer was simple: Register it with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). However, in recent years the USPTO has come under fire for historically long registration times and allowing waves of allegedly fraudulent applications to clog their systems diminishing the value of U.S. trademark registrations. See USPTO criticized in Scathing Report from US Department of Commerce.
by The Trademark Company
updated 10/17/2002 | 4 Min Read
With this in mind, we think it’s a great time to compare the three primary ways to protect your trademark in 2022 so you can decide which option best fits your protection needs.
1. Unregistered Trademarks – Just Use It!
Pros: One of the great misconceptions about trademarks is that you have to register them with the USPTO to have rights here in the U.S. This is simply false. The same law that protects USPTO registered trademarks also protects trademarks that are not registered with the USPTO. Unregistered trademarks can use the “TM” symbol and can be successfully enforced, and routinely are, even against USPTO registered trademarks, in the event of infringement.
Cons: An unregistered trademark is generally only protected where it is being used (i.e., county, state, or beyond) and if you need to enforce it you will have to prove that you have valid trademark rights both in terms of when you began use of the trademark and that it is otherwise entitled to protection (e.g., not merely descriptive, etc.). Of note, an unregistered trademark cannot be used for the Amazon Brand Registry.
2. Trademark 1.0 (USPTO) – The Old School
3. Trademark 2.0 – Rights Secured without the Hassle
Secure Your Trademark Today!