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It seems common law trademark rights extend only to the geographical location in which the mark is used. However, when it comes to apps, there is no defined geographical region; you push it to the app store once and then anyone in America can download it. So does that mean that because the app is made available to anyone in America that, for apps, simply publishing the app and getting the common law rights will protect you just as much as registering a trademark for your app's name would.

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So does that mean that ... getting the common law rights will protect you just as much as registering a trademark for your app's name would[?]

No, because federal registration "gives a trademark owner substantial additional rights not available under common law."

Source: http://www.bitlaw.com/trademark/common.html.

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