Q: Do I have to register my trademark for it to be valid?
No. You can establish rights in a mark based on use of the mark in commerce, without a registration. However, owning a federal trademark registration on the Principal Register provides several important benefits, including: Public notice of your claim of ownership of the mark; A legal presumption of your ownership of the mark and your exclusive right to use the mark nationwide on or in connection with the goods/services listed in the registration; The ability to bring an action concerning the mark in federal court; The use of the U.S. registration as a basis to obtain registration in foreign countries; The ability to record the U.S. registration with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Service to prevent importation of infringing foreign goods; The right to use the federal registration symbol ® and Listing in the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s online databases.
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