Trademark registration in the United States can be achieved on either the state or federal level. While federal registrations with the USPTO are the more popular choice, trademarks can also be registered in New York State with the Department of State in Albany, New York.
What is the difference between State and Federal Trademark Registration?
Federal registration applies to all 50 states and is governed by U.S. federal law. In contrast, NYS trademarks only apply to the State of New York. Practically speaking, this means that the protection one gains is much greater if the trademark is federally registered. The registration is broader and restricts the entire country from using your trademark, rather than just one state. The USPTO also maintains the best publicly searchable trademark database in the world, thus the deterrent effects extend beyond the U.S. border as well.
However, NYS trademark registrations have benefits too. The localized protection can be a benefit if an intrastate conflict occurs, which is not an uncommon occurrence in New York. Further, NYS TMs can be a great tool to utilize if federal registration is unavailable. Trademark applications are frequently refused at the federal level, thus in some cases we’ll use NYS trademarks as a back up plan since most of our clients are located in New York City. Lastly, the New York State trademark application process is quicker, cheaper and easier than registering federally.
If you have questions about applying for a trademark send us an email and we’ll schedule a free phone consultation.