Ellicott City, MD asked in Trademark for Maryland

Q: A trademarked name I want to use says that it is status is 606 - abandoned- No statement of use filed Can I use the name

I want to use the name for a sweatshirt Brand I’m thinking of starting and I looked up if the name is trademarked on Justia Trademarks and it says Status: 606 -Abandoned - No statement of use filed. Status date : 2020 -06-15

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1 Lawyer Answer
Jim Boness
Jim Boness PRO label
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Portland, OR

A: The more appropriate place to be checking to see if a trademark might be valid to use would be the USPTO site, not Justia. I would advise doing a cursory search there first. However, this is just a preliminary step and would only pick up obvious instances of your proposed Mark being used. You should strongly consider paying a trademark search company or attorney to do a full search. A full search will not only check the USPTO database, but will check other sources of information which could potentially turn up other uses of your proposed trademark in state databases, websites and other data to check not only whether your proposed mark is already registered, but also for instances where it might not be registered, but still in use by another company. Keep in mind that just because a Mark hasn't been registered, does not mean it is not in use and therefore does not mean that it would be safe for you to use. As well, a Mark does not have to be identical to another to be considered infringing.

Beside the Mark name itself, other things to consider would be the proposed classification of goods and services for the Mark, design elements of the Mark and whether there are any other substantially similar Marks out there.

If you are serious about limiting your risk and concerned about incurring, in some cases, substantial rebranding and other costs, (Check out the Facebook/Meta issue right now) you should find a local, reputable attorney near you that can help you through the process. The attorney cannot only help you in the search, but also provide help filing and responding to any USPTO concerns or opposition by others to your proposed Mark. The money you spend in attorney's fee's is more than offset by the peace of mind and assurances you will get by doing it correctly.

The information provided is informational and does not create an attorney/client relationship between you and I. Always seek the advice of experienced counsel before proceeding.

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