What are common law trademarks?
Common Law trademarks are unregistered trademarks that have certain, limited rights.
While federally registering a trademark is still the "gold standard," it's important to look for Common Law trademarks when conducting a trademark search.
If you were to federally register your trademark while another company was using the same mark before you without a registration, that company could cancel your registration on the grounds that they have prior use.
In fact, a federal trademark registration can be challenged for the first 5 years that it is registered, so it's extremely important to make sure you check for any Common Law trademarks prior to filing for registration.
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Founded in 2008, Gerben Law Firm PLLC is a boutique Washington, DC based trademark, copyright and patent law firm. We currently serves clients in all 50 states and from over 30 countries around the world. Founder Josh Gerben opened the firm with the goal of providing big-firm quality legal services to businesses and individuals at affordable prices. In furtherance of this goal, the firm has obtained more than 5,500 trademark registrations for its clients since opening, and has been involved in over 500 trademark enforcement and defense matters.
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