Q: May phrase is similar to a recently approved trademark
I've been using a specific phrase on coffee mugs (and selling them) since October 2016. Recently a trademark was approved for a very similarly worded phrase Am I infringing by using my own phrase on my coffee mug (and selling them online and at craft fairs)? His is trademark for use on coffee mugs. Also, I was under the impression that phrases that have been in use for a number of years cannot be trademarked. Thank you!
A: An attorney would need to know more about your history of using the phrase and the trademark applicant's to provide an opinion on whether you may continue to use the mark. If you are the senior user, it is possible you may be able to have the trademark cancelled or at least retain the right to use the phrase as you have. It is not true that a phrase which has been used in popular culture for a number of years cannot be trademarked.
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