Q: Hello. I am trying to figure out if the phrase "Be Kind" is trademarked or not. It says "Abandoned", but just in case.
A: This is not legal advice, but an informal glance at U.S. Trademark Office records suggests that there are over 100 pending applications or active registrations using the phrase "BE KIND" as a mark or as part of a mark.
Numerous factors are considered in determining whether a mark can be federally registered, or conversely, whether a proposed mark might infringe someone else's mark. Among the factors are the goods/services used with the mark. For instance, if "ACME" is the mark and "running shoes" are its underlying goods, and if someone else wants to use "ACME" for software applications, the big difference in goods (in addition to other factors) might suggest that there is no potential for consumer confusion such that both parties can use the mark for their respective goods.
State trademark registrations are a separate issue.
Before using a proposed mark in commerce, it's a good idea to have an intellectual property attorney consider the facts of a specific situation to avoid potential problems.
Registered U.S. Patent Attorney
Thrive IP® INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW FIRM
220 N. Main Street, Suite 500
Greenville, SC 29601
A: When a trademark application is listed as abandoned, this does not mean that the mark is not in use or that some other person has not started to use the mark. Common law rights may be accrued prior to registration. Consult with a trademark attorney to assist you in conducting a clearance search to determine if there are any identical or confusingly similar marks in use and/or registered.
Bernard Samuel Klosowski agrees with this answer
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