Registered or Not: Know Your Trademark Rights

Federal Trademark Right protect registered and unregistered trademarks.

Federal Trademark Protection protects both registered and unregistered service and trademarks. However, to collect damages, registration is required.

Whether your mark is federally registered or not, it is protected against would-be commercial exploiters.

Trademark Rights

Federal trademark law, specifically Section 1125 of the Lanham Act, provides valid trademark owners with a civil action against anyone who:

  1. Uses any word, term, name, symbol or device or any combination thereof, or any false designation of origin or false or misleading representation of fact;
  2. In connection with the commercial advertising and promotion of goods or services;
  3. In interstate commerce;
  4. In such a way that is likely to cause confusion, mistake or to deceive or which misrepresents the nature, characteristics, qualities, or geographic origin of goods or services.

Under Section 1125, federal trademark law does not require that the infringed mark be federally registered. Section 1125 of the Lanham Act generally provides a broader equitable relief against unfair business practices without a registration.  However, a federal registration is generally required if you intend to seek monetary relief.

Questions about trademark protection? Call us today at 913.345.0900.