As a business owner in New Jersey, you may wonder if you need to register the trademark that you use to distinguish your company with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in order to establish and protect your intellectual property rights. According to FindLaw, the answer is no; legitimate use of a trademark affords it legal protection even without registration. If there is a legal dispute over an unregistered trademark, the court is likely to grant you the rights to it if you can prove that you used it first in commerce. 

While registering your trademark is not a legal requirement, it may be a good idea because registering offers you additional advantages. For one thing, it gives you the right to use the registered trademark symbol as a deterrent against infringement. If you do not register your trademark, the symbol that you use to declare it is different.

Upon registration of your trademark, the law will automatically presume you to be its owner and grant you exclusive rights to use it. Registering your trademark also affords your ownership claim constructive notice to the public and gives you the ability to go to federal court to bring legal action concerning the mark. 

Registering your trademark is a very good idea if you do business, or intend to do business, on the national or international level. After registering your trademark, you can prevent the U.S. Customs Service from importing foreign goods that infringe upon it by filing your registration with the agency. If you want to register your trademark overseas, domestic registration can help the process. 

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.