Trademark Registration Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Trademark Registration, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Trademark Registration?

Federal registration of a mark with the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) to prove its use and ownership.Federal trademarks should be used on a regular basis on goods manufactured/and or sold.Without this designation, it may be hard to collect damages from one who infringes the mark.

History and Meaning of Trademark Registration

Trademark registration is the act of filing a trademark application to obtain registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The purpose of trademark registration is to protect and enforce a company’s ownership rights to its name, logo, or slogan that consumers associate with its products or services. Registration of a trademark ensures that it is protected under federal law and provides many benefits, such as establishing evidence of ownership and a presumption of the exclusive right to use the mark.

A federal registration provides nationwide rights to the trademark owner, whereas unregistered trademarks can only be enforced in the geographic areas where they have been used. Trademark registration typically involves conducting a search to ensure the mark is available, filing a trademark application with the USPTO, and responding to any issues that arise during the examination process.

Examples of Trademark Registration

  1. Coca-Cola – Coca-Cola has a federal trademark registration for its name and logo, which protects the brand from other companies using similar images or names.

  2. Nike – Nike’s “swoosh” logo is a federally registered trademark that distinguishes its products from other athletic gear brands.

  3. Google – Google’s trademark for its iconic multi-colored logo and its name are both federally registered, ensuring that other companies cannot use similar marks.

  4. McDonald’s – McDonald’s “golden arches” logo is a federally registered trademark that is recognized worldwide.

Legal Terms Similar to Trademark Registration

  1. Trademark Infringement – the unauthorized use of a trademark that is likely to cause confusion, deception, or mistake as to the source, sponsorship, or approval of the goods or services associated with the trademark.

  2. Trade Dress – the visual appearance of a product or its packaging that indicates the source of the product and is protectable as a trademark.

  3. Brand Identity – the collection of brand elements that a company creates to portray a specific image or message to consumers.

  4. Brand Recognition – the ability of consumers to recognize a brand based on its distinctive features, such as its name, logo, or tagline.

  5. Trademark Clearance Search – the process of researching trademark databases to determine whether a proposed mark is available for use and registration.