Q: Am i braking law if using a phrase, which is a trade mark. Example Miami Towing, using it as a keyword phrase on website
We are a towing company, and we use different key words phrases on our website. One of them is Miami Towing, for better search traffic from google. We received a letter from Miami Towing company that has a trademark of that phrase. They have recently filled for it. Am i braking law using it?
A: Generally speaking, use of a bonafide trademark on a website or advertisements may constitute trademark infringement if such use would likely cause confusion among consumers, such that a person would be confused as to the source of the goods or service that they wish to purchase. However, trademark rights in the United States are based on priority of use so the mere registration of a mark does not defeat a prior user of a trademark. Also, it can be argued that such a "descriptive" trademark cannot be used to prevent other from using the same description if the mark in fact describes the service that the alleged infringer sells or provides. Business marks that merely describe the goods/services are not protected or accorded trademark rights unless and until such a mark accords secondary meaning (where consumers have come to identify a trademark with a certain product over time).
Marcos Garciaacosta agrees with this answer
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.