Q: Small business question here, located in New Hampshire.
My partner and I are starting a rally company, an exotic auto enthusiast adventure. We came up with the name Apex Rally, and come up with a great logo. We fell in love with it and could really see the company coming to life in our minds. We just discovered a company in a different state (New York), called Apex Road Rally, and they’re registered as Apex Detours. Their logo is completely different and their business model is different in comparison. They’ve been operational since last August. Can we still use Apex Rally as our name, or do we need to find a new one?
A: The answer to your question involves a bit more than name comparison. At least trade channels, zone of natural expansion, and use of the senior mark should also be considered. If you are starting a business, it is a good idea to engage an IP attorney to complete a clearance search for the name and logo you intend to use. Our firm handles these matters. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to discuss the process.
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