What protections does a state trademark provide that a federal trademark does not?
March 24, 2008 2:24 PM   Subscribe

What protections does a state trademark provide that a federal trademark does not?

I am currently applying for a federal trademark to provide protection to certain products that I intend to produce and distribute nationwide. I understand that IN ADDITION TO a federal trademark, I can obtain a state [CA] trademark.

Is it worth the time and money to obtain the state trademark in addition to the federal trademark I am currently applying for? Does the state trademark afford me any additional protections?

Is it worth my time and money to apply for a state trademark in the primary state that I will be doing business in? Since I will be doing business in several states, should I also obtain trademark protection in those states?

posted by Mr_Crazyhorse to Law & Government (2 answers total)
You really need a lawyer's advice tailored to your particular circumstances. Bottom line: it depends on the state, but keep in mind that federal law provides limited trademark protection even to marks that are not federally registered.

Don't go pro se on a trademark registration. You really need someone who knows what they are doing.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 2:35 PM on March 24, 2008

You should talk to a good local trademark lawyer.

But one note on the relationship between state and federal law. Federal law trumps state law. In other words, the federal trademark is a minimum. State law can add to it (ie. grant more rights and protections), but state law can not take away anything.

So, if CA trademark has any purpose in the law, it must in some way add to, supplement, federal law. CA trademark can't take away, and if they were the same, the CA legislature would never have spent the time to pass something different, thus CA trademark law almost certainly adds additional rights and protections, when compared to fed trademark.

However, that said, whatever is gained by CA trademark - it might not apply to you and your product. Hence, you need to talk to a lawyer.
posted by Flood at 7:29 PM on March 24, 2008

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