Cullman, AL asked in Intellectual Property for Alabama

Q: Is this Infringement

I own the registered trademark "God's Country" for use on goods and services/clothing. Is it infringement if someone uses "This is God's Country" on a thsirt.?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Bernard Samuel Klosowski
Bernard Samuel Klosowski
Answered

A: Yes, possibly. But there are multiple factors that a court must weigh to determine trademark infringement.

The two main factors are the mark itself and its underlying goods/services. In your example, "God's Country" is the "dominant" or key phrase, which is repeated exactly in the longer phrase. And the goods appear to be the same (t-shirts are clothing). So, based on just those two factors, a court might find that it's likely that consumers would be confused into thinking that your clothing and the other guy's t-shirts are coming from the same company. But there are other factors, too. One is time - who used the phrase first? Even though you have a federal registration and the t-shirt guy doesn't, if he was using his phrase years before you, you might not be able to stop him (although you might be able to restrict him to his local geographic area). Another consideration is how the other guy is using the phrase - is he using the phrase as a decoration (e.g., large print across the front of the t-shirt) or is he using it as a trademark?

Consider consulting with a trademark attorney to look at your various facts and the various trademark factors to point you in the right direction.

Good luck.

1 user found this answer helpful

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