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last revised Nov. 27, 2001

definitions purpose scope acquisitionlifetime of protection legal standards

How Trademarks are Acquired

  • How to obtain rights:
    • At common law use of a trademark in commerce
    • Or apply for federal registration for nation-wide protection
  • Principal advantage of registration:
    • Nationwide priority rights
    • possibly conclusive evidence of validity and ownership
    • US custom recordation
    • increased anti-counterfeiting remedies.
  • Basis for registration:
    • Bona fide intention to use in commerce followed by actual use
    • Foreign owner’s country of origin registration or application filed within 6 months, plus bona fide intention to use in commerce
    • Actual use in commerce
  • Infringement standard:
    • Likelihood of confusion, mistake or deception as to source or sponsorship

Web Resources

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