What Are the Two Types of Trademark Registers?

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While you may have heard of trademarks, it is also important to understand trademark registers. Continue reading to learn the two types of trademark registers and how an experienced New Jersey trademark lawyer of The Ingber Law Firm can help you with moving from one to the other.

What is considered trademark registers?

Notably, The Lanham Act was established on July 5, 1946, and is now the primary federal trademark statute that protects trademarks nationally. The Act sets forth a number of prohibited activities, which can include infringement, false advertising, and dilution. With this, The Act also sets forth two different types of registers that each serves their own function and exists to protect your intellectual property.

What are the two recognized types of trademark registers?

The two types of trademark registers that are maintained by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) are the principal register and supplemental register.

A principal register gives you national rights to protect your trademark. With this register, your mark has constructive use and constructive measure. This prohibits your competitors from using your mark or anything similar to it. Importantly, after five years, the incontestable status may be obtained, which means that you can take federal action against infringing parties.

Then, a supplemental register is the secondary register of trademarks maintained by the USPTO. This register is for trademarks that do not meet the requirement for registration on the principal register but allows you to register in another country. More specifically, it allows you to hold a descriptive mark and is an option if your mark solely describes the services represented. So, the only requirement is that your mark distinguishes your goods or services from another entity. Of note, it does not provide rights aside from common law and does not include opposition proceedings. Yet, this protection can be canceled by the court at any time. 

How can I move from one trademark register to another?

It is possible for your trademark to move from one register to another. This is especially the case if your mark has taken on a second meaning over time. In this case, after five years of being a supplemental register, it can become eligible to be a principal register.

If you require assistance with moving your mark from one register to another, it is best that you retain the services of a skilled Essex County, New Jersey intellectual property lawyer today.


Whether you’re looking to register a copyright or trademark, are facing a dispute, or otherwise require the assistance of an experienced New Jersey intellectual property lawyer, you’re in the right place. Contact Ingber Law Firm today to schedule your initial consultation with our skilled and dedicated legal team.