Definition Common Law

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Definition Common Law

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Definition: Common law rights are property or other legal rights that do not absolutely require formal registration in order to enforce them. Federal trademark registration is not required to establish rights in a trademark. Rights called common law rights arise from actual use of a mark. Generally, the first to either use a mark in commerce or file an intent to use application with the USPTO has the ultimate right to use and registration. Common Law Search A common law search means searching for trademarks that are not federally registered. It may involve checking phone directories, yellow pages, industrial directories, state trademark registers, among others, in an effort to determine if a particular mark is used by others when they have not filed for a federal trademark registration.

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