Use in commerce matters too.
Is federal registration of my mark required?
No. In the United States, parties are not required to register their marks to obtain protectable rights.
You can establish “common law” rights in a mark based solely on use of the mark in commerce,
without a registration. However, owning a federal trademark registration on the Principal Register
provides a number of significant advantages over common law rights alone, including:
A legal presumption of your ownership of the mark and your exclusive right to use the mark
nationwide on or in connection with the goods/services listed in the registration (whereas a
state registration only provides rights within the borders of that one state, and common law
rights exist only for the specific area where the mark is used);
Public notice of your claim of ownership of the mark;
Listing in the USPTO’s online databases;
UNITED STATES PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE
The ability to record the U.S. registration with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service
to prevent importation of infringing foreign goods;
The right to use the federal registration symbol “®
The ability to bring an action concerning the mark in federal court; and
The use of the U.S. registration as a basis to obtain registration in foreign countries