Most successful companies are instantly recognized for their strong trademarks, which makes them powerful assets. If you travel anywhere in the world, you will find at least a paper ad featuring the Coca-Cola® trademark.
In this article, you will understand the difference between a state trademark and a federal trademark.
What is a Trademark? – Explaining the Concept
The term “trademark” refers to a word, phrase, symbol, design, or combination of these elements used to identify the source of goods and services.
It is impossible to conceive the concept of branding without trademarks, as they allow customers to recognize a brand in the marketplace and distinguish it from competitors. This term is often used to refer to trademarks and service marks.
The difference is the first is used for goods and the latter is used for services. No matter how big or how powerful a company is, it must apply a generous amount of effort to protect the entity’s trademarks.
In terms of legal protection, trademarks allow legitimate brands to protect an essential part of their intellectual property and shield the company against counterfeiting and fraud.
Trademark ownership rights derive from the use of the mark in business. Both state and federal law grant some level of protection to unregistered trademarks, which are often referred to as “common law trademarks.”
Florida entrepreneurs have two options to register a unique trademark – file for federal registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or file for state registration with the Florida Department of State (Division of Corporations).
If a certain trademark will not likely qualify for federal registration, it is possible to file for registration at the state level.
What is the Difference Between a State Trademark and Federal Trademark?
The first difference between state and federal trademarks is the scope of protection. When someone registers a trademark with the USPTO, the newly registered mark is protected across all US states and territories.
The level of protection granted to trademarks registered with the Florida Department of State applies to the state level only. In specific situations, marks registered with the USPTO have international protection.
With a federal registration, a company can use the “®” symbol, which tends to have a psychological effect on customers in terms of credibility and strong market presence.
In terms of costs, standard trademark registration in Florida costs around $100. The minimum cost to register a trademark with the USPTO is around $500, which is a significant difference for newly established companies with a short budget.
Federal trademark registration requires additional processing time. The process tends to be time-consuming due to the constant need to submit more paperwork.
Depending on the case, the entire process may last up to a year and a half. Conversely, the trademark registration process requires only a few weeks in Florida.
In case of infringement, a Florida trademark only allows the owner to sue the infringement party within state jurisdiction. Registering with the USPTO permits a plaintiff injured by trademark infringement to file a lawsuit in a federal court.
State Trademark vs. Federal Trademark – Find the Solution at Jurado & Associates, P.A.
A well-versed trademark attorney from Jurado & Associates, P.A. is willing to help you find a proper solution for your case. Contact us by calling (305) 921-0976 or emailing Romy@juradolawfirm.com for an individual assessment.