Federal Trademark Law

What is a Federal Trademark?

A federal trademark or, what is commonly called a service mark, is typically a word, symbol, design, or combination of such, which (a) identifies the source of goods or services and (b) distinguishes such from the goods or services of others. For example, the word “NIKE” or Nike’s so-called “SWOOSH” symbol denote that a particular pair of shoes, item of clothing, or other good(s) came from Nike while also distinguishing those goods from Nike’s competitors.

Although federal trademarks and service marks are often words or symbols, a federal trademark or service mark can actually be a color, a sound, a smell, or almost anything else for that matter.

The United States Patent & Trademark Office (“USPTO”) issues federal trademark registrations to qualifying trademarks and service marks upon application by a mark owner to the UPSTO.

The Law Firm of Shea M. Randall is a trusted California-based law firm which assists with trademark registrations across the United States.  We provide quality results and expedited services to help you get the trademark protection your business needs.  

More people choose to work with the Law Firm of Shea M. Randall because we give you the attention your case needs and we make sure your registration is done right.  Throughout the entire process, you will work directly with our founding attorney Mr. Shea M. Randall and have 24/7 access to the progress of your case through our secure and user-friendly online client portal. 

We understand how important it is to protect your brand and we work hard to make the trademark process simple, transparent, and hassle-free.  Join the many hundreds of clients who have worked with the Law Firm of Shea M. Randall, your leading source for trademark registrations.  

Read below to learn more about the benefits of registering for a federal trademark, or contact our office at (949) 471-0136 to speak with us today.  

What are the benefits of registering for a federal trademark?

There are four (4) principal benefits, which are relevant to most federal trademark owners:

  1. The Right to Use The Trademark Nationwide
  2. The Right to File For An Injunction
  3. The Right to File For Monetary Damages
  4. The Right to Prohibit Importation

We will discuss each in brief below.

The Right to Use The Trademark Nationwide

Because of the federal system here in the U.S., you can file one trademark application with the federal government and your trademark is protected in all 50 states, nationwide, without having to file an application in all 50 states.

By the way, owners of common law trademarks don’t get this right.

What does this mean? It means that if someone else tries to use your trademark, or even one that is confusingly similar to your trademark, you have the right to stop them from doing so through the federal courts, which actually leads us to the next major benefit.

The Right to File For An Injunction

Most people don’t know this, but the courts in the U.S. are both courts of law and courts of equity.

But what does that even mean and why is it important?

In a court of law, a plaintiff can file suit for monetary damages, which is discussed below.

In a court of equity, however, a plaintiff can file for an injunction to stop the defendant from doing something.

In the case of what’s called trademark infringement, a trademark owner can file for an injunction to stop the other party from infringing upon the trademark, dead in its tracks.

I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a pretty potent option if someone is infringing upon a trademark.

The Right to File For Monetary Damages

In addition to filing for an injunction to stop a party from infringing upon your federal trademark, you can also file a lawsuit for monetary damages that the other party has caused you by infringing upon your trademark.

In other words, if the party that is infringing upon your trademark has hurt your business, by decreasing sales, hurting your reputation, etc., you may be able to file a lawsuit to recover those damages from the infringing party.

The Right to Prohibit Importation

When you own a federally-registered trademark, you can file with U.S. customs to stop the importation of goods that are likely to be confused with your goods.

If you sell goods that can easily be “knocked-off” and manufactured in China, which is probably most goods, this right could be the most beneficial of all.

For example, if you have a valid trademark for a brand of purses and someone else manufactures similar purses in China and tries to sell them under your trademark or one that is confusingly similar, U.S. Customs will stop the importation of those purses before they even hit the market.

Sounds like a very useful remedy for many trademark owners.

As mentioned above, this list of four (4) benefits is not in the least bit exhaustive, there are many others, such as: providing notice to potential trademark owners that a trademark is in use, indicating to the United States Patent and Trademark Office that another potentially infringing mark should not be registered if it is confusingly similar, etc.

How do I get started?

Applying for and monitoring trademark is a legally complicated task, especially given the number of businesses and existing trademark registrations.  We recommend that you start with our research and analysis service prior to filing for your trademark.  

By starting with our research and analysis service, we are able to provide you with the information needed to make the best case to obtain a trademark that you can.  We also will provide the analysis as a credit to the full trademark application service.  Unlike at many firms, we will handle the entire process for you and your trademark application will be drafted by an experienced US-licensed attorney. 

Applying for and monitoring trademark is a legally complicated task, especially given the number of businesses and existing trademark registrations.  We recommend that you start with our research and analysis service prior to filing for your trademark.  

Begin your trademark research and analysis online today or by contacting our office at (949) 471-0136 to speak with a US-licensed trademark attorney today.

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