What are the Different Types of Trademark Registers?

What are the Different Types of Trademark Registers?

When you develop a logo, slogan, or other means to differentiate your business or product from others, you must ensure you get it trademarked. People obtain trademarks for peace of mind, knowing their ideas and business are protected. If you are getting part of your business trademarked, here are some of the questions you may have:

What is a trademark register?

Essentially, the Lanham Act of 1946 established a number of prohibited activities regarding trademarks, such as infringement, false advertising, and dilution. Additionally, the Lanham Act establishes registers for trademarks. Simply put, there are two registers: the Principal Register and the Supplemental Register. Both are maintained by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and both serve specific functions to help businesses protect their intellectual property.

What is the Principal Register?

The Principal Register is for trademarks that have taken on a secondary meaning. For example, the company “Apple,” with its Apple logo, is in the Principal Register. The Apple logo goes far beyond differentiating one product from another, as it may evoke some emotion or memories in some consumers. Under the Principal Register, your mark has constructive use and constructive notice, which, simply put, means other cannot use your mark, or anything similar. After 5 years, you may be able to obtain an incontestable status. You will also then have the means to take federal action against infringing parties and employ the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to stop infringing goods from entering the United States.

What is the Supplemental Register?

The only requirement for the Supplemental Register is that your mark is capable of distinguishing your goods or services from another. However, under this register, you are not provided any other rights aside from common law. This does not include opposition proceedings, however, the protection provided can be canceled at any time by the court. 

How do I move a trademark from the Supplemental to the Principal Register?

Once your trademark has spent five years on the Supplemental Register, your mark may take on a secondary meaning, in which case your product may be eligible for the Principal Register. 

Contact our experienced New Jersey firm

The Law Offices of Richard E. Novak, LLC is an effective intellectual property law firm that services business clients who need guidance through the acquisition of trademark protection. Our firm has over 25 years of experience in the IP community representing clients through all legal matters, including actions against infringing parties. If you need a law firm to skillfully guide you through any trademark legal issue, contact The Law Offices of Richard E. Novak, LLC for a consultation today.