Do I Need a Registration?

I’m always asked by small companies that come on in, “I’ve been using my trademark in the marketplace for five years. Why should I bother getting a registration?” And my answer is very simple, you hate when you find out two years later that somebody down the road, maybe even upstate, opened up a similar mark and a similar business name as you have.

And your question is, “darn, I really can’t stop that guy upstate because he’s far enough away from me that he’s outside of my natural boundary of business. However, had I had a trademark, whether it be a Florida trademark or a federal trademark, I would own all rights in that whole territory, meaning all of Florida, and I would prevent anybody else from using a similar mark on similar goods.”