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Trademark Application-State Registration

Trademark Series Part 3

Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of our Trademark Series!


In addition to the federal registry (The United States Patent and Trademark Office), you can also register your mark at the state level.

The USPTO oversees federal registration for trademarks. The USPTO offers national protection for your mark.

To register a mark at the state level, you must file an application with your state’s trademark office. For example, in North Carolina the trademark office is part of the NC Secretary of State’s office. If you register your mark with the NC Secretary of State’s office that mark will only be protected in NC.

Some of the benefits of state registration are:

  • Short processing time; for example in NC the registration process from start to finish takes around 1-2 weeks;
  • Notice to the public that you own the mark;
  • You’ll have exclusive right to use the mark in NC in connection with the goods or services associated with your mark; and
  • You will have legal rights concerning your mark, such as the law assumes that you own the mark, and you have the right to file a trademark infringement lawsuit and possibly obtain monetary remedies.

Sometimes the USPTO denies a trademark application; if that is the case you may want to consider registering within your state. A common reason why you cannot federally register is if another business is already using the same word or design mark in the same or similar class as you. But if you want to proceed with state registration keep in mind that your trademark rights will not extend beyond your state.

We recommend registering your mark on the federal registry, if you can.


For more information regarding trademarks or really anything law/beer related, call us at: 919-335-5291 or email