Texas Trademark Registration: Everything You Need to Know
Texas trademark registration allows a business to protect its name, logo, or slogan from use by another business in the state of Texas.3 min read
Texas trademark registration allows a business to protect its name, logo, or slogan from use by another business in the state of Texas. State trademark registration is a simpler, faster, and less expensive process than federal trademark registration for a business that operates solely within Texas and doesn't have plans to expand beyond the state.
What Is a Trademark?
Texas law defines a trademark as a word, name, symbol, or device used by a person to distinguish their goods from the goods manufactured or sold by another entity.
Trademark vs. Service Mark
A service mark is defined as a word, name, symbol, or device used by a person to distinguish their services from the services of another entity. The main difference is that a trademark identifies goods or products, while a service mark identifies tangible services.
Advantages of Trademark Registration
Registering your trademark enables you to prevent other businesses or entities from using your trademark for their own benefit. It also grants you exclusive ownership rights to use that trademark in connection with the goods or products you sell.
Requirements for State of Texas Trademark Registration
The Texas Secretary of State office lists the following requirements for registering a trademark in Texas:
- You must demonstrate that you are using the mark in connection with your company's goods or products in Texas before the date of the application.
- The mark must differ from other trademarks registered within the state.
- The mark must differ from any trademarks registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Once you register your business's trademark, it remains registered in Texas for five years, after which you can renew the registration for an additional five-year term.
Steps for Registering a Trademark in Texas
- You must complete a Trademark or Service Mark Application Form, which requires information such as a federal trademark application. This form must be notarized before submission.
- Provide three original pieces of proof that your trademark is in use within the state of Texas.
- Pay the fee for each class you are applying for. In Texas, each class is currently $50, which is significantly less than the $325 fee required for each class in a federal application.
- After filing the application, the state will evaluate your request, which includes looking for any conflicting registered trademarks within the state and the USPTO.
- The state examiner will notify you if there are any issues, allowing you 90 days to correct the application or submit arguments.
- Once the application has been reviewed and any issues have been resolved, the state will issue your trademark registration.
Signifying Your Registered Trademark
The federal registration symbol is ® and should only be used after registering a federal trademark. There is no special symbol signifying that you have registered your trademark with the state. Upon completed registration, you should use ™ beside your registered trademark.
Trademark Infringement on Registered Marks
The Texas legislature amended the state trademark infringement laws in 2011. These changes made the state trademark registration system in line with federal trademark registrations and increased protection of state trademarks.
According to the amended statute, if a person is found guilty of trademark infringement, the registrant can sue for damages and file an injunction to prevent further infringement. Infringement occurs when a person, without the trademark owner's consent, reproduces, counterfeits, or copies a registered trademark to sell, distribute, offer, or advertise goods or services, and its usage will cause confusion as to the source of those goods or services.
If the court rules in favor of the trademark owner, the court can order that the infringing materials be destroyed and require the guilty party to pay the trademark owner damages resulting from the infringement.
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