Gwen, an up and coming clothing designer, is advertising her designs but is unsure on how to protect her company and design names from knock-off suppliers and other competitors. Gwen contacts an IP attorney to discuss options for ensuring exclusive rights to use her company and brand names.
During her meeting, the attorney informed Gwen that she should file trademark applications for federal registrations for her company and design names. The attorney explained that although trademark rights arise upon first use of the mark in commerce, a federal registration offers many benefits to the trademark owner:
• Constructive notice to the public of the registrant’s claim of ownership of the mark;
• A legal presumption of the registrant’s ownership of the mark and the registrant’s exclusive right to use the mark nationwide on or in connection with the goods and/or services listed in the registration;
• The ability to bring an action concerning the mark in federal court;
• The use of the U.S. registration as a basis to obtain registration in foreign countries; and
• The ability to file the U.S. registration with the U.S. Customs Service to prevent importation of infringing foreign goods.
After informing Gwen of her options, Gwen promptly hired the attorney to file and manage trademark applications on her behalf.