Trademark Rights Based on Common Law or Federal Registration


In the United States, trademark rights flow from use, not registration. However, federal trademark registrations can provide significant brand protection, and can provide a “constructive” date of first use in some circumstances.

Priority dates and geographical location are therefore very important factors in trademark usage and establishing priority rights. It’s possible that a first user’s trademark rights can be “frozen” in a particular geographical area by a later or second user in certain circumstances. Frequently, trademark priority battles focus on competing proofs of each parties’ trademark use, market penetration, and consumer recognition. This webinar outlines why clearing trademarks and filing federal trademark registrations as early as possible can limit future geographic carve-outs of a business’s trademark rights.

Attendees will learn:

• How trademark rights can be established
• Critical differences between common law trademark rights and those obtained through federal trademark registration
• The geographic scope of common law trademark rights
• Additional protections afforded to trademark owners through the “natural zone of expansion” doctrine
• Understanding interstate commerce and “use in commerce” as defined in the U.S. Lanham Trademark Act

This course has been approved for 1.0 Substantive CLE credit by PACLE.

Thursday, November 18, 2021
1 p.m. EST


Michael F. Snyder, Shareholder, Volpe Koenig
Laura S. Lipschutz, Associate, Volpe Koenig


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