Is Filing a Trademark Important For A Business?
Although constructive use in the market provides some intellectual property protection, you should look into filing a trademark or service mark if you are or plan to advertise your product or business on the internet or out-of-state. Being the first to use your trademark or service mark gives you rights against others in your state. By the same token, if another business has been using the same business or product name as you in their state, they have rights against you there. However, if you file and receive a federal trademark, then you will have rights against everyone who begins using your name after you receive the mark. So, if you call your product “Tom’s Allstar Product” and there is a “Tom’s Allstar Products” in Colorado that has been operating since 2006, then you and Tom can generally carve out your turf in your own states. However, if “Tom’s Allstar Products” in Colorado had filed for and received a federal trademark in 2006, then Tom could send you a cease and desist letter or sue you for violating his trademark. So it is important to begin using your trademark as soon as you can and to consider filing as soon as you are ready. As an initial matter, of course, it makes good sense to perform a trademark search on your product or business name before you being spending marketing dollars.
Still have additional questions regarding registering a trademark? At Jolley Law Group, we are here to keep you up-to-date and informed about matters important to your business. Contact us for help with corporate documents, compliance, and litigation. We serve those that serve South Carolina.