Q: Can I trademark a business name if a similar business exists already, but they did not trademark the name?
My business name is very similar to that of another business in a different state. We both provide the same type of services. Being in different states there's no problem, but at the end of 2023 the government is supposed to open up cross-State Licensing. I have no intention of performing business in their specific state, but I want to be able to use my name in any other states I choose without issue. I have used TESS and I know that my business name has not been trademarked, nor has their name. I'm new, and they are well established. If I succeed in trademarking my name, will they be able to sue me for "stealing" their name? Even though I didn't. Will the fact that they exist (even un-trademarked) make my trademark application be declined? Thank you!
A: As the prior user, the other business could take action to terminate your use, even without a trademark registration. Registration is not required to obtain legal rights in a mark and the ability to terminate infringing uses. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local intellectual property attorney who can review all the facts of the situation and advise you of potential problems.
Marcos Garciaacosta agrees with this answer
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.