TMEP 801.02(a): Act of 1946, Principal Register

This is the October 2015 Edition of the TMEP

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801.02(a)    Act of 1946, Principal Register

The primary provision for registration in the Trademark Act of 1946 is for registration on the Principal Register (15 U.S.C. §§1051–1072). When a mark has been registered on the Principal Register, the mark is entitled to all the rights provided by the Act. The advantages of owning a registration on the Principal Register include the following:

  • Constructive notice to the public of the registrant’s claim of ownership of the mark (15 U.S.C. §1072);
  • A legal presumption of the registrant’s ownership of the mark and the registrant’s exclusive right to use the mark in commerce on or in connection with the goods/services listed in the registration (15 U.S.C. §§1057(b), 1115(a));
  • A date of constructive use of the mark as of the filing date of the application (15 U.S.C. §1057(c); TMEP §201.02);
  • The ability to bring an action concerning the mark in federal court (15 U.S.C. §1121);
  • The ability to file the United States registration with the United States Customs Service to prevent importation of infringing foreign goods (15 U.S.C. §1124);
  • The registrant’s exclusive right to use a mark in commerce on or in connection with the goods or services covered by the registration can become “incontestable,” subject to certain statutory defenses (15 U.S.C. §§1065, 1115(b)); and
  • The use of the United States registration as a basis to obtain registration in foreign countries.

If the applicant does not specify a register, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) will presume that the applicant seeks registration on the Principal Register.