James Monagle is Of Counsel at Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP, where he maintains a comprehensive practice in intellectual property and technology law, handling litigation in state and federal courts

Here’s the intro to his piece for IP Watch Dog. 

n most industries, federal trademark registration is seen as an attractive form of protection, because federal registration converts what would normally be localized common law trademark rights into national rights covering all 50 states. In addition, a federal registration can be used as the basis to easily (and comparatively inexpensively) register your trademark worldwide. The application process involves either registering a mark based upon preexisting use, or alternatively, on an intent-to-use basis, which acts like a place holder reservation of the mark for up to three years or more with maintenance fees. Application fees are charged per mark and per class—each category of goods or services (there are 34 different classes of goods, and 11 different classes of services) the mark is used in association with for which protection is sought.

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