If you are using a trademark in connection with your new business, or if you have created a design or written work related to your new business, consider registering the trademark or copyright with the U.S. government. The registration fees are relatively low and the benefits are significant. If you register your trademark or copyright, you will have more remedies available and an easier time exercising those remedies if you wish to enforce your rights against an infringer.

Federal registration of a trademark confers the following advantages, generally speaking: (1) there are fewer prerequisites to bringing a claim in federal court for infringement; (2) certain remedies, such as the right to recover certain amounts of damages, are only available to registrants; (3) the registration provides certain legal notice and evidence of your ownership of the trademark; (4) you may use the ® symbol to provide notice of your registration; and (5) you may notify customs officials of your registration to assist them to stop the importation of infringing products.

Federal registration of a copyright confers the following advantages, generally speaking: (1) you may bring an infringement lawsuit under federal law, which you generally cannot do without registration; (2) certain remedies, such as statutory damages and attorney’s fees, are available only for acts of infringement that occurred after registration; (3) the registration provides certain legal notice and evidence of your ownership of the copyright in the design or written work; and (4) you can notify customs officials of your registration to assist them to stop the importation of infringing products.

Therefore, although these rules have some exceptions, there are compelling reasons to consider for promptly registering your trademark or copyright.