Any individual, entrepreneur or business may register a trademark under federal law (i.e., federal trademark registration) as long as the trademark is being used, sold, offered, advertised or promoted across state lines (i.e. in interstate commerce). A federal trademark application will fall under either an actual use trademark application or an intent to use trademark application. If the trademark is either currently being used in interstate commerce or if there is an intent to use the trademark in interstate commerce, the federal registration of the trademark will create enforceable rights in all fifty states and US territories. Any enforcement action for federal trademarks occurs in federal courts pursuant to federal laws. Anyone who successfully prosecutes a federal trademark may hold the federal registration on either the Principal Register or the Supplemental Register. The Principal Register is reserved for those trademarks that are distinctive, unique, arbitrary or suggestive. The Supplemental Register is reserved for those trademarks that are typically descriptive, and may only be elevated to the Principal Register after a showing of secondary meaning in the trademark classification in which the mark was registered.
Federal Trademark Registration
Virtually every business owner, entrepreneur uses or intends to use a trademark to identify their products, goods or services. The trademarks adopted by a business owner, entrepreneur often serve as the nexus of their marketing, branding and sales efforts and can be critical to their success. Federal trademark registration, which provides nationwide rights in the trademark, is more important than ever as we move forward into an increasingly digital business environment.