Trademark and servicemark rights can be established through use, meaning it is not necessary to register the mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in order for the mark to be protected under common law.
However, if you choose to register aspects of your brand, including your company name and logo, then other companies are put on notice that your mark is protected. Ultimately, taking the necessary steps to register your trademark can strengthen your brand and reduce the risk of trademark litigation. Not registering the mark -- and not enforcing your rights -- could be detrimental to your brand and your intellectual property rights.
In New Jersey, trademarks can be registered on the state and federal levels. The state agency is the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services, and the federal agency is the United States Patent and Trademark Office -- or USPTO.
When you apply for trademark registration with either of these agencies, there are important procedures, timelines and rules that must be followed, and a mistake could result in a costly denial of your application. It should be noted, too, that the USPTO will not refund your filing fee if your application is turned down.
At the law office of Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law, we help businesses avoid pitfalls in the trademark registration process. We also conduct trademark searches so our clients can avoid infringing on another company's brand.
To learn more about these matters, please see our Trademark Search and Analysis overview.