What are the different trademark registers?

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has a number of different options for those interested in obtaining a trademark to explore. The two different types of trademark registers are Principal Registers and Supplemental Registers. In fact, you can even switch from one to another, but that will be explained later on. Both of these registers were created under the Lanham Act of 1946.

The more simple registers of the two is a Supplemental Register. This type of register is the secondary register and does not require you to meet all of the other requirements that are necessary to obtain a Principal Register. The only requirement for a Supplemental Register is that your trademark has the ability to distinguish a good or service.

Principal Registers are much more complex. Trademarks that fall under this category are service marks, collective marks, and certification marks and must be registered as so. If you wish to do so, you may move a Supplemental Register to a Principal Register after it has been a Supplemental Register for 5 years. The 5-year wait period will give you distinctiveness on your mark. Be sure not to apply for the Principal Register until you are eligible.

Moving a trademark from one type of register to the other can be useful because it allows a mark to be protected from marks that conflict with yours that may arise later on. If you have any questions about obtaining a trademark register or switching from a Supplemental Register to a Principal Register, you should consult with an experienced intellectual property attorney who can provide you with assistance in handling this matter.

Contact the Law Offices of Richard E. Novak today to discuss the facts and circumstances surrounding your New Jersey traffic, intellectual property or business litigation matters.