State Registration of Trademarks
State registration is more suitable to the needs of small business owners because federal registration requires that the mark is used (or will be) between two or more states (interstate commerce). State registration protects the mark within its territory and also gives the mark owner the right to exclusive use. Also, state registration may deter third parties from using similar marks since state registered marks can be easily obtained in a nationwide search. Another advantage is that state registration takes less time than federal registration; however, if a mark owner qualifies for federal registration by engaging in interstate commerce, then federal registration should be sought rather than state.
Each state has their own procedures and guidelines, all of which resemble the federal process and follow the same basic legal parameters. The USPTO offers a list of each state’s website links to register marks, (http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/process/State_Trademark_Links.jsp).