State vs. Federal Trademarks - Daniel Ross & Associates

What is the Difference Between a State and a Federal Trademark?

A state trademark will only offer protection in the state in which you register, whereas a federal trademark will protect the mark nationwide, as well as confer some international benefits with treaty countries.

If you can secure federal trademark rights, that’s always the best course, and it gives you exclusive rights to your brand in all commonwealths and in all 50 states.

Is it Worth Applying for a State Trademark?

Typically, it is always better to have a federal trademark, but there are some instances when a state trademark might be the best option.

If there is a situation where there is another business with unregistered “common law” use of a similar mark, or there’s another state registration somewhere else, and you find out that that business has been using a similar brand before you, then you may be limited to a state registration.

Trademark Application Costs: State vs. Federal

Perhaps non-intuitively, the costs for state and federal trademark registrations are comparable (including attorney fees), so when calculating cost to benefit, a federal registration is the pound-for-pound favorite.

Learn More About Trademark Law

If you are applying for a trademark, ensure you’re on the right path with the attorneys at Daniel Ross & Associates. To schedule a free consultation to discuss how your trademark needs, please call (216) 307-5590, or get in touch using our online intake form.


All the best,

Share This