Established in 1946, the Supplemental Register is a secondary register for trademarks and is maintained by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The Supplemental Registry was created to allow domestic registration for trademarks that do not meet all of the requirements necessary for registration on the Principal Register. To be considered eligible for registration on the Supplemental Register, a mark must be capable of distinguishing goods or services. This article will highlight some of the details about how the supplemental registry operates.
The Advantages of the Supplemental Registry
There are several advantages available to individuals who use the Supplemental Registry. Some of the reasons to use the Supplemental Registry include:
● Trademark Language and Signs. Individuals who registers their marks through the Supplemental Registry are able to use the registered trademark sign or language including “Registry United States Patent Office” to protect from potential trademark infringement.
● Foreign Registry. By registering a mark through the Supplemental Registry, individuals gain permission to register the trademark outside the United States provided that the foreign country offers similar trademark protection and rights.
● Infringement Lawsuits. The Supplemental Registry allows individuals to collect damages, money, or relief if a person is successful in pursuing an infringement lawsuit.
The Disadvantages of the Supplemental Registry
Even though the Supplement Registry provides basic government protection for descriptive trademark, there are some distinct disadvantages to using the Supplemental Registry which include the following
● Exclusions. The trademark owner is not allowed to be excluded by the United States Bureau of Customs under the terms of the Supplemental Registry.
● Exclusive Rights. The registry does not offer exclusive rights to use a trademark.
● Future Claims. The Supplement Registry does not support future claims if the trademark reaches incontestability status.
● Notifications. Notifications of ownership or presumptive ownership in an infringement case is not provided by the Supplemental Registry.
What Is Prohibited Under the Supplemental Registry
There are certain restrictions and limits to what is eligible for registration through the Supplemental Register. Some of the registrations not allowed by the Supplemental Register are functional marks, extended protection of an international registration, an intent to use application, marks that can be added to the Principal Register, and marks that are unclear about whether products or services are offered.
What Is Allowed Under the Supplement Registry
Some of the elements that are permitted on the register include marks that are already in use, marks issued in the applicant’s country of origin, and marks similar to ones listed on the principal register for related products and services.
Reasons Why Groups Seek Supplemental Registrations
A business owner can easily prove ownership of a trademark on the Supplemental Register. One of the most common mistakes made by Register owners is failing to use the mark before registering it on the Supplemental Register. There is no time limit for when a Supplemental Registration can no longer be contested, which creates a distinct vulnerability in these marks.