Who governs federal trademark registration?
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) governs and oversees the application and registration of federal trademarks in the US.
What is a Federal Trademark?
A federal trademark is any word, name, symbol or device, that is either currently used or will later be used in commerce by an individual or business in order to identify and distinguish their goods from the goods of another.
What can be trademarked?
Generally, any word, phrase, or device can be trademarked as long as it identifies the source the goods in order to distinguish them from the goods of another. This could include: an acronym, colors, company name, a scent, a design, a made up word. The options can be endless as long as the requirements for Selecting your Trademark are met.
How does a trademark differ from a patent or copyright?
The purpose of a federal trademark is to distinguish goods in order for the public to be able to indicate the source of the goods, through the use of a mark, symbol, or device. A copyright protects the original works of an author. Lastly, a patent is to protect inventions and other discoveries. For additional information, visit our Trademark Comparison page.
How long does a trademark registration last?
A federal trademark could last forever. The length of an initial trademark registration is 10 years. Then there are renewal periods at the end of each registration for an additional 10 years. As long as a trademark owner stays up to date on renewal deadlines and the trademark still serves its purpose of distinguishing the goods from others, then the trademark registration will continue.
Is a service mark identical to a trademark?
A service mark is not identical to a trademark but is very similar. While a trademark is used to distinguish goods used in commerce, a service mark is used to identify and distinguish the services of one from the services of another. Otherwise the definition is the same.
Do I have to register my trademark?
While you do not have to register your trademark, it is a great benefit to have a federally registered trademark.
What are the benefits to having a trademark registered with the USPTO?
Having a federally registered trademark creates valuable trademark rights, including: