Businesses wanting to fully protect their trademarks must go through the federal registration process, it has been claimed.

Fay Sharpe’s Colleen Flynn Goss explained that common law rights to use trademarks are geographically limited.

So while a company may have trademark protections locally simply by virtue of historic use, this will not apply in other jurisdictions.

Writing for Smart Business Online, Ms. Goss explained that business moves at a rapid rate, and new products and services are constantly coming to market.

Should a large company in another country launch a new global brand which uses your trademark, common law trademark rights will offer no protection, she explained.

“That is a financial and timing nightmare that you don’t want to have to deal with,” Ms. Goss said.

“There you are, just about to launch, and all of a sudden you have no name for your product.”

Common law trademark protections ‘limited in scope’

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