There are a number of benefits to registering a trademark and these are generally different from those of registering a copyright. They include preventative protection from “copycats” as well as legal rights for the trademark owner that would not exist absent a trademark registration.
Since a trademark is a visible symbol of your product or service, a registered trademark is easier to find in a trademark availability search, preventing others from using confusingly similar marks or claiming that they had no knowledge that a similar trademark was already in circulation. In addition, the Trademark Office looks over every incoming trademark and compares it to already registered trademarks in its registry to make sure that no confusingly similar marks are registered. The Trademark Office has a duty to refuse to register these confusingly similar marks so an already registered trademark is instantly protected at no additional cost to its owner.
The benefits of trademark registration do not end there. When a trademark is registered, the owner is granted the right to use the ® symbol when the mark is used for the goods and services listed in the registration. This symbol provides more legitimacy for the registered product because it is known and recognized worldwide. It also allows puts potential “copycats” on notice that the trademark owner is serious about protecting his or her rights in the trademark.
The final and perhaps most significant benefit of trademark registration is that it expands a trademark owner’s ability to sue those who infringe on that owner’s trademark. Registering a trademark allows the trademark owner to sue copyright infringers in federal court, and in some cases, grants treble (or three times the amount of) damages, infringer’s profits, and attorney fees to the trademark owner. This is yet another great deterrent to potential “copycats” who would rather not risk having to pay such hefty penalties for copyright infringement.
The benefits of trademark registration are abundant and, with the help of an intellectual property attorney, it is fairly easy to register your trademark and take advantage of these benefits. If you have an unregistered trademark that you would like to register, you should consult with an experienced intellectual property attorney who will get you started on your way to successfully register your trademark.