Trademark Attorney, Lawyer: Trademark Registration & Trademark Infringement: What Are Common Law Trademark Rights? You Don't Need Have a Trademark Registered with the USPTO in Order to Protect Your Common Law Trademark Rights in Commerce

« Three Stripes? You're Out! Adidas Awarded $305 mil against Payless for Willful Infringement | Main | Double Entrendes Entitled to Trademark Protection »

Wednesday, 25 June 2008


Relying on common law to protect your trademarks is always a bad idea. Any good trademark attorney will tell you that you do have common law trademark rights. But if you really want to enforce those rights against a 3rd party who uses your trademark or a similar mark without your permission, you are swimming upstream if you don't have a trademark registration in place. To better understand how to trademark the name, addicted trademark registration attorney.

Common law trademarks are really worth very much. Typically, someone has a common-law trademark because all of a sudden they have a trademark problem and start asking a trademark attorney questions about what they can do. Because it takes a year on average to get through the trademark registration process with the USPTO, the trademark attorney will typically rely on the common law trademark rights in order to send the 1st trademark infringement threat letter. Under the UDRP, a complaint and can still file an arbitration proceeding alleging bad faith cyber squatting based on common law trademark rights. In that instance, the attorney has to show the length and extent of use of the name or brand as a trademark in order to establish rights. If the website doesn't have enough traffic associated with that, it is harder to prove that the owner of the subject domain name alleged to be cyber squatting knew or should have known of the common law trademark right prior to registration of the domain name.

Common law trademark rights are fine, but they won't help you much if someone fights back against your trademark infringement threat letter. Get your trade marks registered people!

A common law trademark is not worth much. Why wouldn't you register your name as a trademark with the USPTO or other foreign trademark office?

Great to know one can have common law trademark rights as a last resort to protect your company brand name but any brand worth protecting under the common law trademark should be registered with the USPTO for the benefits of statutory trademark rights and benefits of trademark registration.

Common law trademark rights are like light sabers from Walmart. They look good from a distance but if you don't have your trademark registered, you have a hard time inflicting damage. Trademark registration turns your common law territorial trademark rights into national trademark rights with statutory damages as your weapon of choice..

The comments to this entry are closed.