Annandale, VA asked in Trademark for Virginia

Q: If my DBA (in retail) is a term already being used by a non-profit (who hasn't trademarked it) can I still use it?

They haven't trademarked the term but they have been established for at least 3 years– I just want to make sure I won't be in any legal trouble for using the same trade name despite being in a different category. Thank you!

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1 Lawyer Answer
Benton R Patterson III
Benton R Patterson III
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Dallas, TX

A: Even though the name is not federally registered, the owner may have common law rights to the name as a trademark. An attorney would need to review the how the term is being used, the proposed trademark, and possibly perform a trademark search to determine if the term is clear.

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