Trademark registration – unlike copyright registration – is substantive, which means the examining attorney will determine whether your mark meets the substantive statutory requirements. The examining attorney will also search for potentially conflicting marks.

To register a trademark, an applicant will generally have to pay a fee, file an application and specimens. Registration can be done on the principal register or the supplemental register. Registration on either register provides these three benefits:
  • Use of the symbol ®
  • Protects against state restrictions on the use of the mark
  • Gives priority for registration in foreign countries
Registration on either register provides these seven additional benefits:
  • Provides constructive notice
  • Prima facie evidence of registrant’s exclusive use of the mark
  • Provides right to ex parte seizure of counterfeit goods
  • Provides right to treble damages and attorneys’ fees against intentional use of a counterfeit mark
  • Provides a deterrent effect through criminal penalties
  • Allows the owner to record the mark with the Bureau of Customs
  • The mark becomes “incontestable” after five years