In general the answer is yes, with a caution.
No law requires registration. It is beneficial, mostly bas warning to the world of "no trespassing." There are other benefits.
You had better not try to build a brand with so little capital you cannot afford registration and an attorney to do it. The best way for a business to crash and burn is and always has been to start with too little capital.
In fact, please do not choose a brand without consultation while you choose with a TM attorney. My linked essay explains why.
The caution is someone may have beaten you to the brand, in which case you cannot legally use it.
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Yes, you can and you may put your own brand , even if it is not registered. I would suggest you run a name availability verification, so not to conflict with an existing brand.
You brand will not be protected but may give you superior rights if no other brand exist and somebody attempts to register your brand after you started commercial interstate use.
The cost of registering a brand is very low, with attorney fees included and you should figure that it will be the best spent money, so do not procrastinate and contact any of the fine avvo lawyers to register your brand. Good luck
USPTO Registered Patent Attorney, Master of Intellectual Property law, MBA I am neither your attorney, nor my answers or comments in AVVO.com create an attorney-client relationship with you. You may accept or disregard my free advice in AVVO.com at your own risk. I am a Patent Attorney, admitted to the USPTO and to the Florida Bar.
Since use in commerce is required for trademark registration (except for intent to use marks) there is nothing unusual about this. Since I represent numerous denim manufacturers, it is hard to figure out how you have a budget to make 12 pair of jeans without a budget for a trademark registration. Using the jeans of others and affixing your mark would be an invitation to litigation. As my colleagues point out, you may wish to do a trademark search to see if your mark, or a decptively similar mark is not already taken. It's a crowed field, but ... good luck.
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Can you do it is an easy question. YES. But if you use currently registered marks you most likely will be sued. So if money is an issue, what is the logic in trying to to save $1x to register same when if you get sued for infringement you have to pay $4x? Makes no sense to me unless you like to gamble. Raising the money to do what you need to do is called a "capitalization plan". It seems like you are thinly capitalized. If so, your biggest problem is not trademarks but rather you are thinly capitalized. I would go back and start there. You have a business problem. Your business plan should include the cost of registering your trademark. Once you are properly capitalized hire a trademark attorney.
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Yes. although registration is preferable. Trademark rights arise from use in commerce, not registration. This means that if you have a trademark that you use to "brand" your Jeans, and you start to sell your product with this brand, common law trademark rights may arise. But common law trademark rights are much more limited than federally registered rights. Generally, common law trademark rights are limited to the geographic vicinity in which you are actually using the trademark and the specific products that you are selling. Common law trademark rights would not stop someone else from selling jeans in another geographic area where you are not currently operating, which could be a problem for you in the future. But many famous companies began to opeate without registration. Good luck!!
Yes, you may put your brand name on on the jeans even if it is not registered with the USPTO. A simple way to protect your brand name until you have it registered is to put a TM by the name. That will show others that you are using the name as a trademark. Once you use the mark in commerce, you technically have a trademark. However, in order to enforce those rights, you should register the mark.