Federal Registration of Trademarks to Protect Intellectual Property

Sean D. Detweiler (SDD)Unlike with patents, there are common law legal protections with trademarks whether or not a mark is registered with the Trademark Office. In the United States, common law trademark rights automatically take effect upon actual use of the trademark in association with particular goods or services in commerce. As such, the question often arises, “why bother federally registering trademarks if common law rights already exist through actual use?” In his article Federal Registration of Trademarks to Protect Intellectual Property: Advantages over common law trademark rights include instant nationwide protection, effective notice to competitors, and ease of assigning, licensing, and defending, trademark and patent attorney Sean Detweiler discusses the pros and cons of the varying trademark protections.

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