Although registration on the Supplemental Register does not afford all the benefits of registration on the Principal Register, it does provide the following advantages:

  • The registrant may use the registration symbol ®;
  • The registration is protected against registration of a confusingly similar mark under Trademark Act Section 2(d);
  • The registrant may bring suit for infringement in federal court; and
  • The registration may serve as the basis for a filing in a foreign country under the Paris Convention and other international agreements.

See 15 U.S.C. §§1052(d), 1091, 1094; TMEP §815.

However, there are limitations to registration on the Supplemental Register. The fact that a term is registered on the Supplemental Register does not entitle it to any statutory presumption that the term is a trademark and not a generic name:

“In fact, it is not prima facie evidence of anything except that the registration issued.” In re Medical Disposables Co., 25 U.S.P.Q.2d 1801, 1805 (T.T.A.B. 1992) (“[A] registration issued on the Supplemental Register is not entitled to the presumptions of Section 7(b) of the statute. It does not constitute prima facie evidence of registrant’s ownership of the marks, or of its exclusive right to use the mark in commerce.”). See In re Federated Dep’t Stores, 3 U.S.P.Q.2d 1541 (T.T.A.B. 1987) (“It is overwhelmingly agreed that a Supplemental Register registration is evidence of nothing more than the fact that the registration issued on the date printed thereon. … It is entitled to no presumptions of validity, ownership or priority.”); E.T. Browne Drug Co. v. Cococare Products, Inc., 538 F.3d 185, 87 U.S.P.Q.2d 1655 (3d Cir. 2008) (Plaintiff with only a Supplemental Registration has the burden to prove “the existence of a protectable mark.”).