Trademarks may be filed at the state or federal level.

State trademarks protect your mark in a specific state while federal trademarks protect your mark in all the states.

State trademarks generally provide less legal protection than federal trademarks.

Businesses operating in only one state should trademark in that state. Businesses operating in interstate commerce may file for a federal trademark.

For example, if you operate a restaurant or a hair-dressing salon in Florida, you are not eligible for a federal trademark. In this case, you should apply for a trademark in the state of Florida. However, if you have two or more restaurant locations in more than one state, in our case, one in Florida and one in Georgia, you are eligible for a federal trademark.

A business intending on expanding nationally or internationally should conduct a trademark search and file a federal trademark as soon as possible.

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