Wasilla, AK asked in Trademark for Alaska

Q: Id like to use the same name of a co located in another state who has trademarked, but I am unsure what is protected

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Tania Maria Williams
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  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • West Palm Beach, FL

A: If by "trademarked" you mean that the company has a registered mark with the USPTO, there are a number of things that go into whether or not you should use a same or similar name. A registered mark, gives a trademark owner priority over other users in the same class on a national level. In simple terms, their use of the mark is protected in all 50 states for the manner in which they are registered to use it. Therefore, if you and that company are selling the same products or services, it is highly unlikely that you could get the mark protected and even more likely that you would receive a cease and desist letter from that company to stop using the mark. If you are selling goods and services in a different class, then the likelihood of confusion is lower but we have been seeing more 2(d) refusals (refusals based on a likelihood of confusion) for similar sounding marks even when the marks are in different classes.

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