The Advantages a Federal Trademark Could Bring to Your Business

While small businesses may be able to operate with a local trademark, businesses seeking expansion and growth may want to register their trademarks federally to turn them into valuable assets. If your business wants to begin operations overseas or over the internet, a federal trademark can be an important first step.

Federal Trademarks Provide Protection Outside of Your Area

Without a federally registered trademark, businesses that are outside of your area of operation or online and in other countries can create knockoffs and imitate your brand, reducing your brand reputation and impairing public opinion of your products in other markets. Even if your company currently doesn’t have plans to expand, it’s highly recommended to register your trademarks federally if you think you might do so in future in order to prevent competitors from affecting your business. Once registered, your trademark will provide legal protection and will be included in trademark searches, which should help cut down on potential infringement. 

Federal Trademarks Allow You to Apply for Protection Internationally

The World Intellectual Property Organization (or WIPO) provides an expedited process by which your trademark can be submitted to several worldwide trademark offices for application in many different countries. Once your trademark is registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, you may submit the trademark to the WIPO for international registration and forwarding to your desired countries’ trademark offices. Keeping your trademark up to date and registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office is essential to successfully registering your trademark overseas because your application may be rejected if it is no longer valid in the United States.

Federal Trademarks Provide Protection Online

Additionally, online marketplaces like Amazon now offer databases where companies can submit their registered trademarks and request the removal of infringing products. These tools can be a massive help to businesses that want to ensure their brand is not diluted by the many copycat sellers in online marketplaces. Before these systems will allow you to request that items be taken down, they will likely require proof that your trademark is registered. 

Protecting Your Trademark

The most important part of registering your trademark is to monitor it continually for potential infringement. In most cases, when a competitor infringes upon one of your trademarks, a cease-and-desist letter will be sufficient to stop their infringing activity. If they continue to use similar marks to the ones that your company owns, then it’s time to take legal action in order to prevent any further damage to your brand.

Integrated General Counsel has been registering and managing trademarks for over a decade. If you think it’s time to seek a federal trademark or if you are faced with an infringement issue, contact us at 925-339-1529 for help.