Asheboro, NC asked in Trademark for North Carolina

Q: How can I use my registered trademark?

I am getting ready to register my company name and logo as a trademark for use as a YouTube brand and on social media. If I want to also send out an e-newsletter for the brand or sell promotional items online with my registered logo on them (t-shirts, hats, mugs, journals, tote bags, etc.), Do I need a separate trademark filing for each class of goods? Even though, for example, I am not going into the t-shirt business per se?

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1 Lawyer Answer
John Martin Hilla
John Martin Hilla
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Livonia, MI

A: You should speak with a trademark attorney in private consultation. A trademark protects consumers from confusion as to the source and quality of a product or service, and trademarks are registered, therefore, for that purpose. In other words, it's your use of the trademark in interstate commerce to identify the manufacturer and source of a particular service or product that you are protecting, not the "logo" itself as a design. That's the province of copyright law, not trademark.

Multiple different products would require multiple classes, which will cost you in terms of your registration application fees, potentially quite significantly given the various things you're considering.

What a proper "specimen" is and isn't is also something that a trademark attorney will discuss with you. (You must include "specimens" of your mark's usage in interstate commerce with your application.) A t-shirt with a logo printed on it is not a proper specimen, for example. You need your mark on the hang-tag of the apparel item. The shirt is the product that the mark is identifying, in other words, not the logo itself for its own sake.

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