I recently had a client call my up to discuss their trademark they obtained prior to becoming our client. As we began to speak, it became clear that the client only had a trademark registered with the State of Florida and not a federal trademark. Why is this important? Well for this client, it is very important. The client has a business they are wishing to expand within the State of Florida but also to neighboring states and possibly throughout the country.
A trademark can be a word, a phrase, logo, brand or symbol that companies use to market their goods and services. If it is used to market goods, then it is a trademark; if it is used to market services, it is a servicemark.
A state trademark protects your mark within the state you filed it. To obtain a state trademark, you must actually be using the mark when you make your application with your state. Local businesses will register their marks with the state as it is very easy to obtain and much cheaper than obtaining a federal trademark.
A federal trademark on the other hand protects your mark throughout the U.S. and many other countries. So any business you may want to conduct which crosses over state lines, i.e. internet, you would want to file for a federal trademark to protect your intellectual property.
A state trademark is straightforward and cheap to obtain whereas a federal trademark can be expensive to obtain. Many clients come in wanting to trademark multiple items and I tell them to just file one to make sure it goes through so that they do not waste money trying to obtain trademarks on multiple items that they may never obtain.
To learn more about filing a state or federal trademark, contact our business law attorneys at Wood, Atter & Wolf, P.A. located in Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.