When you register a trademark or service mark, the first thing to decide is if you should register the mark with the Florida State Government, Federal Government, or both. A Florida trademark attorney can assist you in making this decision as well as assist you in applying for the mark.
Although you can establish your right to a trademark or service mark through its use in commerce without registration, owning a federally-registered trademark or service mark can provide you with the following advantages:
- There is a public notice of your claim to ownership of the mark.
- There is a legal presumption of your ownership of the mark and your exclusive right to use the mark nationwide on or in connection with the goods/services listed in the registration.
- You have the ability to bring forth a lawsuit in Federal court if someone has infringed upon the mark.
- The federal registration will be useful, should you choose to register your mark in foreign countries.
- You can record the registration with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service to prevent the importation of foreign goods that infringe on the trademark.
- You will be listed in the United State Patent and Trademark Office’s online databases.
- If you do not federally register your mark, you may use the “TM” (trademark) or “SM” (service mark) designations. You may only use the “®” symbol after the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has registered the mark.
The Federal trademark process is complicated and can take a year, or a few years, to process. Hiring a trademark attorney is recommended, as legal issues may arise throughout the process.
Florida trademarks are less expensive than filing a federal trademark, and they have fewer requirements, but a Florida trademark, or any other state trademark, is superseded by a Federal trademark, if one exists. Florida trademarks allow the owners to bring suit in a Florida court for infringement on the mark.
If you need help registering your Florida or Federal trademark or service mark, contact Boyer Law Firm’s trademark attorneys today. Our litigation attorneys can also assist you in both Florida and Federal court if your mark has been infringed upon.