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A Guide to State Trademark Information

As a small-business owner, protecting your business name is one of the most important steps in the long-term success of your company. Although common law rights are automatically given through the use of the mark in commerce, these rights are limited to the geographic areas where the mark is in use.

Most entrepreneurs find out about federal trademark registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and stop there. Yet, having a registered trademark on the state level is also beneficial.

You can find trademark protection information for all 50 states and Washington, D.C., in the table below. This includes details on registering a trademark in your state. Registering will let others know you have exclusive rights to the mark.

For a step-by-step guide to applying for federal trademark registration, see Registering a Trademark.

State Where to Apply for State Trademark Protection
Alabama  Trademark Application
(Alabama Secretary of State)
Alaska  Filing an Alaska State Trademark 
(Alaska Dept. of Commerce, Community, & Economic Development)
Arizona  Trade Names and Trademarks 
(Arizona Secretary of State)
Arkansas  Trademark/Service Mark 
(Arkansas Secretary of State)
California  Trademarks and Service Marks 
(California Secretary of State)
Colorado  Trademarks FAQs 
(Colorado Secretary of State)
Connecticut  Trade and Service Mark FAQ 
(Connecticut Secretary of State)
Delaware  Trademarks, Brands, and Labels 
(Delaware Division of Corporations)
District of Columbia  Reserve or Register a Trade Name 
(D.C. Government)
Florida  Trademark/Service Mark Forms 
(Florida Department of State)
Georgia  Trademarks and Service Marks 
(Georgia Secretary of State)
Hawaii  Trade Name, Trademark, or Service Mark 
(Hawaii Dept. of Commerce & Consumer Affairs)
Idaho  Trademarks and Service Marks 
(Idaho Secretary of State)
Illinois  Trademark Publications and Forms 
(Illinois Secretary of State)
Indiana  Trademarks Information and Search 
(Indiana Secretary of State)
Iowa  Application for Registration of Mark 
(Iowa Secretary of State)
Kansas  Trademark/Service Mark Registration FAQ 
(Kansas Secretary of State)
Kentucky  Trademarks/Service Marks 
(Kentucky Secretary of State)
Louisiana  Application to Register Trade Name, Trademark, or Service Mark 
(Louisiana Secretary of State)
Maine  Marks and Trade Names 
(Maine Secretary of State)
Maryland  Trademarks and Service Marks
(Maryland Secretary of State)
Massachusetts  Trademark and Service Marks 
(Massachusetts Secretary of State)
Michigan  Trademarks, Service Marks, and Insignia 
(Michigan Dept. of Consumer & Industry Services)
Minnesota  Trade and Service Marks 
(Minnesota Secretary of State)
Mississippi  Application to Register/Renew Trade and Service Marks 
(Mississippi Secretary of State)
Missouri  Trademarks and Service Marks 
(Missouri Secretary of State)
Montana  Trademarks 
(Montana Secretary of State)
Nebraska  Trademark/Service Mark Application 
(Nebraska Secretary of State)
Nevada  Mark Forms 
(Nevada Secretary of State)
New Hampshire  Trademark - Service Mark Forms and Laws
(New Hampshire Secretary of State)
New Jersey  Register/Renew State Trade and Service Marks 
(New Jersey Division of Revenue)
New Mexico  Trademarks and Service Marks 
(New Mexico Secretary of State)
New York  Original Trademark Registration Form 
(New York Dept. of State)
North Carolina  Trademarks 
(North Carolina Secretary of State)
North Dakota  Trademark/Service Mark Registration 
(North Dakota Secretary of State)
Ohio  Trademarks or Service Marks 
(Ohio Secretary of State)
Oklahoma  Trademark 
(Oklahoma Secretary of State)
Oregon  Business Names and Trademarks 
(Oregon Secretary of State)
Pennsylvania  Registration of a Trademark 
(Pennsylvania Department of State)
Rhode Island  Trademark / Service Mark Section 
(Rhode Island Secretary of State)
South Carolina  Trademarks 
(South Carolina Secretary of State)
South Dakota  Trademarks 
(South Dakota Secretary of State)
Tennessee  Trademarks 
(Tennessee Department of State)
Texas  Trademark Forms 
(Texas Secretary of State)
Utah  Trademark 
(Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code)
Vermont  Trademarks 
(Vermont Secretary of State)
Virginia  Trademark, Service Mark Registration 
(Virginia State Corporation Commission)
Washington  Trademark Registration 
(Washington Secretary of State)
West Virginia  Trademarks and Service Marks 
(West Virginia Secretary of State)
Wisconsin  Trade Names and Trademarks 
(Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions)
Wyoming  Trademarks 
(Wyoming Secretary of State)
Puerto Rico  Trademarks and Trade Name
(Puerto Rico Trademark Office)

State Trademark vs. Federal Trademark Registration

Trademarks at both the state and federal levels still protect the same things, such as:

  • Company names/brand names
  • Symbols or logo
  • Slogans
  • Words

State trademark laws protect trademarks within the borders of that state. Federal trademarks offer protection across the nation.

State trademark offices manage the registration process. Each state has its own trademark application forms, filing fees, and procedures. Legal actions are usually handled in state courts if a state-level trademark owner experiences trademark infringement. The federal court systems handle trademark infringement on a federally registered trademark.

Get Professional Legal Advice Complying With State Trademark Law

Trademark law can be very complex, especially considering the various courts involved. Selling your goods internationally requires extra protection. If you sell locally or in a few states, you may need help complying with state laws. Find a trademark attorney licensed to practice in your state to get started.

Visit FindLaw's Intellectual Property section (IP section) for more information about trademark rights and other IP legal protections.

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