Q: Am I infringing on a word mark using THIS name?
My brother and I own a vineyard / winery in PA (Jackson Winery -- name has been changed to protect the innocent / guilty). We received a warning from 'Jackson Winery' in Washington State that we must stop using their trademarked name (we checked with the USPTO; they do own the word mark). Would we be able to call ourselves 'Jackson Brothers Winery' or 'Jackson Brothers Vineyard' without running amok of the trademark?
The answer to this question may depend on how long you have been using the mark in commerce. Although this other winery may have a registered trademark (you refer to the "word" mark), this fact alone does not completely answer the question. If your use of the name predates their use and/or the date they received their federal registration, you may have superior rights in your be able to continue using the mark - although it may be in a limited geography. Any use that you made prior to their mark becoming registered may have developed "common law" rights and, may be effective even after their registration was issued.
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