San Diego, CA asked in Trademark for California

Q: Can I use X name if it's being used in another country(s)??

EXAMPLE. is a male clothing line since 2004 based in thailand, with a branch in germany. Me, I acquired and wish to do an online store and sell furniture,Home & kitchen, books, accesories, electronics, BUT I also want to sell clothing, like old navy, calving klein, levis, armani, or even YOYOapple's clothing line, any issues??? it looks like they target more the word APPLE than YOYO, I'm based in the USA, no paperwork has been filed...I'm not a clothing manufacture, but I do wish to sell clothes from different brands in my online store..

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1 Lawyer Answer
Walker Weitzel
Walker Weitzel
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Seattle, WA

A: Trademarks are specific to product/service type and location. You establish the type of product/service by sales or by choosing the type during registration. You establish location either by sales or by registering in a given state or country. You would infringe Apple's trademark by using the name to sell electronics, among other things.

It is unclear whether your example is hypothetical or not, but there is an additional part of trademark law that would apply. Trademark dilution applies to famous brands, and Apple would certainly qualify, and it allows trademark owners a cause of action to forbid others from using it in a way that would lessen its uniqueness. In the example you gave, you would run into issues using the Apple trademark in connection to any goods or services whatsoever under dilution.

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