Burlington, NC asked in Business Formation and Trademark for North Carolina

Q: Hello, I am starting a new business and already secured the domain name "mystockmarketsignals"...

Now, I found where someone else has a "service mark" trademark of "stock market signals".... Do I have to give up my original business name? Thx! Jim

As a follow up... why would the USPTO allow a trademark of these common words?...... A trademark should be a mark of distinction to set a company apart...... a trademark is not intended for one company to own common words that other companies should have rights to use........

Is My Market Signals different enough from Stock Market Signals, as ok to use?

Thank You - Jim Sykes

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1 Lawyer Answer
Michael Gerity
Michael Gerity
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Phoenix, AZ

A: Well, it sounds like you have not started using your mark in commerce, which is what is required to secure a priority date vs. another user. As such, if their mark is actually valid (federally registered marks are entitled to a presumption of validity, but that presumption can be overcome in various circumstances), then they would likely have priority of use over you, and therefore superior rights to that mark. Are they using the mark in conjunction with the same or confusingly similar products and/or services as you would? If not, you could possibly still use the name, but that would need to be analyzed. You also always have the option of contacting them and seeing if they'd be willing to enter into a co-exist agreement with you.

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