Q: Do I need to defend my trademark against products of a different class?
I have a trademark, un-stylized, for a name for my product. I have seen others use the name for their product in unrelated items (mine is clothing accessories, theirs is fabric-related, but not clothing). Do I need to send a cease and desist and/or name licensing agreement to defend my trademark?
A: Perhaps. The questions is whether a likelihood of confusion exists. The analysis starts here.
A: Your protection from infringement only extends to the class(es) you claimed and in fact use the mark in connection therewith. The test is whether a consumer would be confused as to the source of the goods/services being offered under the mark. For example, the mark "Dominion" is used by a bank, electric company and producer of sugar. Consumers of those goods/services are not confused despite the fact that the mark is identical. In your case, unless there is a good chance for consumer confusion, you would have no claim of infringement. However, if you still have concerns, speak with an attorney.
A: It is your responsibility as a trademark owner to police your trademark. If there is a mark in use that is confusingly similar to your mark, you may have a case for infringement. It is possible that while the marks are being used in different classes, the use is sufficiently related (fabric is used in clothing) to cause confusion as to the source of the goods.
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