common law

COMMON LAW RIGHTS IN A TRADEMARK USED IN COMMERCE

In a prior blog post, I explained that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) registers proper trademarks and service marks, but it does not issue them as it issues patents.  However, even if a company does not apply to register a mark, it will generally have common law rights in a proper mark used in commerce.  The common law rights are less extensive and less clearly articulated in case law than those for registered marks.