Businesses and organizations can register trademarks before they get the chance to use them, it has been claimed.

Writing for Smart Business Online, Colleen Flynn Goss, counsel at Fay Sharpe, explained that companies can take advantage of ‘intent-to-use’ protections under federal legislation.

“United States trademark law allows you to file an application to register a mark before you’ve used it,” she explained.

“That way, you effectively reserve the mark for those products and services for which you intend to use the mark.”

Ms. Goss said owners still need to use their mark on products or services before the registration will issue, but the date the application is filed is deemed to be the first date the trademark was used.

This will preclude other companies from taking advantage of a business’ intellectual property, she claimed.

Public advice service Business Link has urged all company owners to register their trademarks, saying this is the most basic – but potentially most important – intellectual property they own.

Intent-to-use trademarks ‘offer added protection’
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