Why a Trademark Is Necessary

Trademark Basics

Information about what can be protected as a trademark, and other basic information about trademarks is available on our Trademarks section page.

About Federal Registration

Marks can become powerful symbols of products and services in the marketplace that help businesses create branding strategies that establish consumer loyalty, deter competition, and make money for the owner of the mark. Whether you are implementing a marketing plan or working to develop one, the success of that plan may ultimately depend on the steps you take now to research and federally register your marks.

Use-Based and Intent-to-Use Applications

Under the current national system, a mark already used in interstate commerce can be registered, and a mark that is intended to be used in interstate commerce can be the subject of a intent-to-use application, which in effect, allows the applicant to reserve rights in a mark nationally from the filng date to as long as 3 years from the date the application is approved for registration.

Benefits of Federal Registration

Specific benefits of having a federally registered trademark include: constructive notice nationwide of the trademark owner's claim; evidence of ownership of the trademark; the jurisdiction of federal courts may be invoked for infringement disputes; registration can be used as a basis for obtaining registration in foreign countries; and registration may be filed with the U.S. Customs Service to prevent importation of infringing foreign goods.

Establishing Nationwide Priority

Federal registration will protect your business goodwill in your marks and enable you to maintain an exclusive position in the marketplace for your product or service. You can obtain nationwide priority with your marks and block others from registering confusingly similar ones. You can establish national rights by using and seeking to register a mark, or you can reserve it nationwide by filing a federal application stating that you intend to use the mark.

The Most Obvious Mistake

The single most obvious mistake we have seen over the years is when a mark is selected, adopted, used, and promoted without the benefit of a professional search. Then a cease and desist letter is received or a lawsuit is filed. If it turns out that someone else has rights in your mark, your investment of time and money, as well as the goodwill associated with the mark, can be totally lost. You could also be held liable for monetary damages, loss of sales, and legal fees. Clearly, it is better to check out a mark prior to adoption and use, and to avoid the risk that you will lose potential rights by filing an intent-to-use application before the mark is publicly exposed.


To receive information on trademarks or if you have any questions, contact us via our secure Contact Form. If you would like us to conduct a Trademark Search for you, please submit your request via our secure Trademark Search Request Form.