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A U.S. trademark can be registered for 10 year renewable terms with the federal government (under the Lanham Act) and/or with local & state governments. There are two federal registers: the Principal & Supplemental Registers. The types of marks eligible for registration on each of the federal registers include:

  • trademarks;
  • service marks;
  • certification marks; and
  • collective marks.

Trademark registration requires the applicant to provide proof of actual use in interstate or foreign commerce. Filing a trademark application is legally considered constructive use and constructive notice of the applicant’s claim to the mark. Filing an application on an intent-to-use basis will delay the need to show proof of actual use until after examination and publication. A registration gives the owner protection throughout the entire United States and is retroactive to the filing date for priority purposes.

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