The Dangers of Not Registering Your Trademark Federally

  1. Civil Disputes
  2. The Dangers of Not Registering Your Trademark Federally
Trademark written on chalk board

A Cautionary Tale of Burger King

In 1957, Gene Hoots opened the doors to his restaurant called Burger King in Mattoon, Illinois. He served burgers and ice-cream to the town’s residents and had a profitable business. However, this is not the fast-food titan, Burger King that most of us know of today. That fast-food titan also used the name “Burger King,” but in Florida.

The fast-food titan federally registered its “Burger King” mark before the Hoots’s Burger King could do so. This led to contentious litigation and resulted in the famous decision of Burger King v. Hoots. Burger King of Florida, Inc. v. Hoots, 403 F.2d 904; 1968 U.S. App. LEXIS 4765; 159 U.S.P.Q. (BNA) 706 (7th Cir. 1968). The Seventh Circuit held that the fast-food titan could not enter the twenty (20) mile radius of the Hoot’s Burger King and that the Hoot’s Burger King could not leave that twenty (20) mile radius. As of 2021, there are 319 Burger Kings owned by the fast-food chain, while only one Burger King owned by the Hoots.

Why Should You Register?

As the story above illustrates, a hesitation in filing for a federally registered Trademark may cost your business the chance to expand. For the cost of a few thousand dollars, the “Burger King” federally registered Trademark was the difference between a single restaurant and a corporation with revenue of approximately 1.78 billion U.S. dollars in 2019. The risk of losing any way of growing your business is outweighed by the cost of obtaining a federally registered Trademark.

What Should You Do to Protect Your Trademark?

If you want your business to have every chance to succeed, then you should speak to an attorney about registering a Trademark, today.

If you are a U.S. citizen, you may apply for a Trademark without the assistance of a lawyer; however, this is not advisable. Registering a Trademark without a lawyer is just like representing yourself when you are charged with a crime. The process is complex, and it is common for those who attempt to register their mark to require the assistance of attorneys to fix their mistakes. These fixes usually result in costs that far exceed the cost of retaining an attorney from the beginning. King Law Offices has attorneys that can assist you in navigating the process. Having an attorney register your Trademark is an investment for you and your business’s future.

If you are not a U.S. citizen, then you are required to have the assistance of a lawyer.

If you need to contact an attorney regarding a Trademark, contact King Law Offices by calling (888)748-KING (5464) or filling out our consultation form. Our attorneys understand that your mark is important to you and your consumers. We will work to make sure that you and your consumers are protected by registering your Trademark.

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