Cockeysville, MD asked in Business Law for Maryland

Q: What do I need to do to keep my company TM but have it revert from a federally registered one to just a regular TM?

I'd like to do this as cheaply as possible.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: The federal trademark is a nationally recognized trademark that allows you to potentially block users anywhere from using it under the federal law. However, nobody can block you from using the mark that you have been using prior to any other party's adoption of it. For most small businesses operating in only one state or limited geographic area of two or three states, the business can get by with state registration of a trade name (this is not a logo registration, but a name registration). In Maryland, your company simply fills out a trade name registration form and files it for a fee of $25.00. The registration is valid for 5 years, then expires unless you file a renewal before the expiration date. Once registered by your company, you are granted exclusive use of the trade name within the state, and anyone dealing with your company under that name will be deemed to be on notice that they are dealing with your legally registered company/entity that registered the trade name. if your company does business in other states on a regular business, you will want to register your company as well as the trade name(s) you want to use in those states as well.

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