Q.What is the difference between a U.S. federal and a state trademark?
A.A state trademark registration allows a registrant to enforce his rights against all subsequent users of the name within the state. A federal trademark, on the other hand, enables the registrant to enforce his or her rights throughout the United States.
Trademark attorneys generally recommend that both a state and federal trademark registration be filed simultaneously whenever the products or services to which the mark is applied are sold across state lines (e.g. in interstate commerce). There are various reasons for initially registering the mark at both the state and federal level, which are discussed in more detail in the Articles section of the website. One primary benefit is that state registrations generally only take 2 to 6 weeks, while federal registrations can take as long as 24 months.
If the products and/or services to which the mark is applied will only be offered for sale and sold within a particular state, then federal registration should not be attempted. Registration at the state level is appropriate.