Whether and when to apply for federal trademark registration is typically based upon: the nature of your product/service, your potential customer base, whether you are using the mark in commerce or intend to shortly use the mark in commerce, your business model/plan, and the timing of spinning-off campus (if you are a startup company). Having a federally registered trademark provides the following advantages:
- Constructive notice to the public of ownership of the mark.
- A legal presumption of ownership and the exclusive right to use the mark nationwide on or in connection with the goods and/or services listed in the registration.
- The ability to bring an action/suit concerning the mark in federal court.
- The use of the US registration as a basis to obtain registration in foreign countries.
- The ability to file the US registration with the US Customs Service to prevent importation of infringing foreign goods.