Is Trademark Registration Compulsory in E-commerce?


It’s not legally necessary to register a trademark for an e-commerce business, but there are advantages if you can make it happen. The main reason people want to register their trademarks is so that they can sue infringers in federal court. In court proceedings, a registered mark gives the owner the presumption of validity, meaning the court will assume the mark is valid unless proven otherwise by the defendant. Registering a trademark allows the owner to recover profits made by the infringer, as well as damages resulting from harm to its reputation or business caused by the infringement.

Registering a Trademark for an E-commerce is Optional

You can use your trademark without registering it. You do not need to register a trademark in order to use it or protect it. In fact, you can start using your trademark before registration and continue using the mark after registration. You can also sell products or services under a name that is similar or identical to someone else’s registered trademark, as long as there is no likelihood of confusion between your goods and services and those of the other party.

However, if you do not want to take any risks with respect to your mark, then it makes sense for you to register it at the earliest opportunity. You can apply for registration at any time during the term of protection of a given mark (generally 10 years from the date of registration), but usually, this will be done shortly after launch since this helps prevent others from trying their hand at copying your brand name later on down the road when awareness about its existence becomes widespread.

Prevent Future Legal Issues

However, registering your trademark has many benefits and will help prevent future legal issues.

The most important reason to register a trademark is that it gives you the right to sue in federal court. This means that you can protect your business from competitors who may try to steal or copy your logo or brand name by filing a lawsuit against them in federal court with minimal effort on your part.

In addition, if you are able to successfully defend yourself in court as the owner of an unregistered trademark (which is called “common law”), this is only possible because of defensive rights that are granted automatically to all registered trademarks under US law. For example, if someone were to infringe on one of your unregistered trademarks, you could go after them for damages under common law principles; however since you would not have any formal paperwork stating that these were indeed your trademarks, it would be very difficult for you seeking justice through litigation due simply because there isn’t enough evidence available at hand when trying cases like these.

A Registered Trademark Offers Several Protections

You can apply for federal registration of your trademark, which offers several protections that an unregistered mark does not.

  • You can sue in federal court if another party infringes on your registered trademark.
  • You can recover profits and damages from the other party. For example, if you have registered “Coach” as a trademark for your line of handbags and someone else uses it on their bags, you could sue them for damages (money), including lost profits from their use of the word “coach.”
  • You can prevent others from using the word as part of their business name or product name without permission. In other words, if someone else tries to open up shop and call themselves Coach Too Handbags or use coach-shaped handbags as part of their branding strategy, they would have to get permission from you first before doing so because they would be infringing on your registered mark. This is known as preventing dilution or blurring–the idea that using an identical or similar mark will cause confusion among consumers when trying to identify where products come from–and is another right granted through federal registration.

In court proceedings, a registered mark gives the owner the presumption of validity, meaning the court will assume the mark is valid unless proven otherwise by the defendant.

Whether or not you register your trademark, it will be presumed valid in court proceedings. This means that if a defendant wants to challenge the validity of their mark, they must prove the mark is invalid by a clear and convincing showing. This standard is much more stringent than the typical “preponderance” standard for civil claims (i.e., “more likely than not”). If you have registered your mark and the defendant fails to meet this burden, then you will win on summary judgment or at trial.

Recover Profits made by the Infringer

In order to recover profits made by the infringer, you will have to prove that:

  • The product or service in question is identical or similar to your registered mark
  • The infringer was aware of your registration and used the mark anyway.

That said, proving damages can be difficult. A strong case will require expert testimony from an economic expert on how much money was lost due to the infringement.


Registering a trademark for E-commerce is not mandatory but it has advantages. As mentioned above, one of the major advantages is that you can’t sue someone for infringement unless you have a registered trademark. Additionally, if your trademark is registered, you get the presumption of validity and thus your registration must be presumed valid unless someone challenges it. Another advantage is that with a registered trademark you are able to recover profits from the infringer – this only applies if there was the actual use of the mark in commerce by the other party and not just promotional activities like ads or brochures with no actual sales being made under that mark.

Finally, even though trademarks do not automatically give rise to remedies such as injunctive relief (temporary court orders requiring others not to do something), courts may grant such relief where warranted provided they conclude that:

  • The plaintiff’s rights were violated.
  • The defendant’s conduct caused harm or threatened future harm.
  • There are no adequate alternative remedies available.


In summary, trademark registration is not legally required for e-commerce businesses. However, there are many benefits to registering a trademark and we recommend you do so if possible.

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