Is it better to register or trademark? What is the difference?

Anyone have any experience with ?

Registering a trademark protects it from being used by someone else. If your trademark is going to be used in interstate commerce (your customers are in states other than where you are), then you should do a federal trademark registration. If you are only doing business in your state, then a state trademark registration will do.

Don’t listen to people who say that your trademark is protected even if you don’t register it. This gives you a false sense of security that will be a problem later. You can contest someone else’s registration of your trademark because you were using it first, but this does not mean that the other trademark will be cancelled automatically. It could turn into a legal battle that will be prohibitively expensive and time consuming.

Registering a trademark isn’t very complicated. You can search existing trademarks and even get the federal trademark application at If all the legal document service is going to do for you is a trademark search and fill in the blanks on the application form, save your money.

If your business is one for which you plan a national presence and is potentially a franchising candidate, see an attorney and do the registration properly. If on the other hand you are a local business that plans to stay local, do the state trademark registration yourself and save the rest of the money.