Principal vs Supplemental Trademark Registration

Jan 28, 2023

When it comes to protecting your brand, understanding the differences between Principal and SupplementalTrademark Registers is crucial. At Magna Social Media, we specialize in helping businesses navigate the complex world of trademark registration to ensure their intellectual property is secure.

The Principal Register

The Principal Register is the primary trademark register maintained by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). It provides the highest level of protection for trademarks and offers several advantages to trademark owners.

Trademarks listed on the Principal Register are considered to be inherently distinctive, which means they are strong and unique identifiers of a particular brand. This distinction can make it easier to enforce trademark rights and prevent others from using similar marks.

Benefits of Principal Register

  • Presumed validity and exclusive rights to use the mark nationwide
  • Eligibility for incontestability status after five years of continuous use
  • Access to federal court jurisdiction for trademark infringement lawsuits

The Supplemental Register

The Supplemental Register is a secondary register for trademarks that do not meet the distinctiveness requirements of the Principal Register. While trademarks on the Supplemental Register do not have all the benefits of the Principal Register, they still offer some level of protection.

Trademarks on the Supplemental Register can be strengthened over time through continuous use and acquired distinctiveness. This can eventually lead to eligibility for transfer to the Principal Register.

Key Points about Supplemental Register

  • Provides limited protection and does not offer incontestability
  • Allows applicants to correct issues with the mark without losing priority
  • Can serve as a stepping stone to the Principal Register

Choosing Between Principal and Supplemental Register

Deciding whether to apply for the Principal Register or the Supplemental Register depends on the distinctiveness of your mark and your long-term branding goals. Our team at Magna Social Media can provide expert guidance on the best approach for your specific situation.

Whether you are looking to protect a new brand or enhance the security of an existing trademark, understanding the differences between the Principal and Supplemental Registers is essential.


Trademark registration is a critical step in safeguarding your intellectual property and creating a strong brand presence. Knowing the distinctions between the Principal and SupplementalTrademark Registers is key to making informed decisions for your business.

At Magna Social Media, we are dedicated to helping businesses in the Business and Consumer Services - Digital Marketing category navigate the complexities of trademark registration with ease. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you in protecting your brand.