Federal Trademarks

An individual, entrepreneur or company may register their trademarks as federal trademarks as long as the trademark that is associated with the product, good or service is being used, sold, offered, advertised or promoted across state lines in interstate commerce. A federal trademark application will fall under either an actual use application or  an intent to use application. If the trademark is either currently being used in interstate commerce or 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. Individuals, entrepreneurs and companies that successfully prosecute a federal trademark may hold the federal trademark registration on either the Principal Register or the Supplemental Register. The Principal Register is reserved for those trademarks that are distinctive, unique (coined), 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.