Each of the fifty states has adopted trademark laws for trademarks used within the state (intrastate commerce). These state trademark registration laws are uniform for the 45 states that have adopted the Model State Trademark Bill. State trademark laws allow for state trademark registration of trademarks for individuals, entrepreneurs and businesses who are local and do not use, sell, offer, advertise or promote the goods, products and/or services beyond a state’s borders. Any enforcement action for registered state trademarks occurs in state courts pusuant to state laws.
Holding a state trademark registration allows the owner of the trademark the right to use that trademark for the goods and/or services identified with that trademark in the registration application. When registering a state trademark, as opposed to a federal trademark registration, the trademark application process does not require a trademark search for conflicting trademarks in: 1) other state registrations, 2) federal registrations, 3) recognized common law trademarks. Therefore, any rights granted to use the trademark in the state can and may be affected or preempted by other registered trademarks in different jurisdictions. This is why it is still important to conduct a federal trademark search to uncover any potential federal trademarks that could effect your rights.