Trademarks do not necessarily need to be registered to be protected in US law, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has confirmed.
However, USPTO – an agency of the Department of Commerce – explained there are “several advantages” to federal registration which brand owners should be aware of.
Among these are a notice to the public of the registrant’s claim of ownership of the mark and a legal presumption of ownership nationwide.
The exclusive right to use the mark on or in connection with the goods or services set forth in the registration should also be considered valuable, the office said.
“In short, a trademark is a brand name,” USPTO explained.
“A trademark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used, or intended to be used, in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the goods.”
According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, there are more trademarks in existence around the globe than copyrights, patents or service marks.