- About Trademarks
- Basic Facts About Trademarks
- Benefits of Trademark Registration
- File Patents and Trademarks
- How Do I Trademark a Slogan?
- Trademark Search Service
- What is Intellectual Property?
- Which laws govern trademarks?
- Why Register Trademarks
Trademarks are governed by both state and federal law. Originally, state common law provided the main source of protection for trademarks. However, in the late 1800s, the U.S. Congress enacted the first federal trademark law. Since then, federal trademark law has consistently expanded, taking over much of the ground initially covered by state common law.
The main federal statute is the Lanham Act, which was enacted in 1946 and most recently amended in 1996. 15 U.S.C. 1051, et seq. Today, federal law provides the main, and by and large the most extensive source of trademark protection, although state common law actions are still available.