Newark, NJ asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) and Trademark for New Jersey

Q: Can I Use the Name Metropawz if there is no trademark or patent on that name but there is one for Metropaws.

I have a online store that was created with the name Metropaws. It was originally going to use the Metropawz but I told them to change it not knowing MetroPaws was trademarked and taken already. So a few weeks later I get contacted by the owners of Metropaws telling me to comply and that I can not use that brand name. I search it up on USPTO.gov and indeed they registered Metropaws. So then I search Metropawz on USPTO.gov and there is no record of anyone using that name or that has any rights to that name. My question is that can I use the name Metropawz since there are no rights to that name or records that anyone owns that name. Should I be okay?

2 Lawyer Answers
Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek
Answered
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Moorestown, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: So, you want to use Metropawz but Metropaws is already registered. If so, and you are in a similar line of business, then you likely would be infringing their mark, because it is confusingly similar.

If, on the other hand, the Metropaws trademark holder is in services for pet waste disposal, and your business in providing accounting services, then you would likely not infringe.

Talk to a trademark attorney, especially if you got a cease & desist letter.

Marcos Garciaacosta agrees with this answer

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

A: No.

You must consult with an attorney.

One of the criteria used is likelihood of confusion.

It is evaluated based on the overall impression.

So adding a minor word, changing the spelling a bit will not cut it if a customer can be led to believe that both marks belong to the same company.

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