New Orleans, LA asked in Trademark for Florida

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?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Evelyn Suero
Evelyn Suero
Answered
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Miami, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

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

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta
Answered
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Mesa, AZ

A: It is possible.

You should consult with an attorney to see your risks.

It is still left to see if they get the trademark.

As indicated by Elvyn the mark may be too generic or descriptive to be registrable.

Still you do not want to fight or antagonize anybody.

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