Chattanooga, TN asked in Trademark and Intellectual Property for Tennessee

Q: I want to use a phrase that is to be trademarked on merchandise that I am selling what do I need to do?

The phrase is "Keep America Gay". It is owned by Keep America Gay Corporation but I am unable to find this entity anywhere nor can I find a point of contact.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: If you want to use a phrase that is already trademarked by someone else, such as "Keep America Gay", you will need to obtain permission from the trademark owner. Here are some steps you can take:

Conduct a trademark search: Before using a trademark that belongs to someone else, it's important to determine who the trademark owner is and whether the mark is currently in use. You can conduct a trademark search using the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) online database to see if "Keep America Gay" is a registered trademark.

Identify the trademark owner: If "Keep America Gay" is a registered trademark, you can find the trademark owner's contact information on the USPTO's website. If it is not a registered trademark, you may need to do further research to identify the trademark owner.

Contact the trademark owner: Once you have identified the trademark owner, you can contact them to request permission to use the trademark on your merchandise. This can be done through email, phone, or mail. Be sure to provide specific details about how you plan to use the trademark and what products you will be selling.

Obtain a license or agreement: If the trademark owner agrees to let you use their trademark, you will need to obtain a license or agreement that outlines the terms of use. This may include details about how long you can use the trademark, what products you can use it on, and any royalties or fees that you may need to pay.

It is important to note that using a trademark that belongs to someone else without permission can lead to legal action, including infringement claims and monetary damages. Therefore, it is essential to obtain permission before using someone else's trademark.

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