Clintwood, VA asked in Intellectual Property and Trademark for Virginia

Q: I need to know if the "Real Deal"" name registered?

1 Lawyer Answer

A: To find out whether a trademark is registered for federal protection, you can search the US Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") database. However, keep in mind that, just because something isn't registered doesn't mean that it's available to be used. The US recognizes "common law" trademarks, meaning that someone can have trademark rights in something without ever registering it. So, searching the USPTO records is really just the tip of the iceberg.

Additionally, if you're considering using something BECAUSE it's already associated with certain types of products or services (or with a certain industry), that's a clear sign that you're swimming in dangerous waters. Attempting to capitalize on the reputation that someone else created is the very heart of trademark infringement.

A trademark attorney can conduct a comprehensive clearance search on a proposed trademark, as well as advise on how to avoid trademark infringement.

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