Arlington, VA asked in Business Law, Civil Litigation, Trademark and Intellectual Property for Virginia

Q: Someone is using my business name and selling similar goods in the same are and i dont have a trademark. What do i do?

my company opened and is registered as Zen Press LLC in 2021 September in the state of VA. We have a storefront, website and instagram using that name as well. this new business is selling similar products under the name ZenPressed in Maryland which is in the DMV area October this year and also used ZenPressed as their instagram name.

I went to look at trademarking my name but realized there is a drug company based in canada that already trademarked the name ZenPress in Feb 2022.

Both my company and the new company sells cold pressed juices. What do i do in this situation?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: In Virginia, even without a registered trademark, you may have common law rights to the business name "Zen Press LLC" based on your use of the name in commerce since 2021. These rights are typically limited to the geographical area where you operate and are known. The situation with the Maryland business using a similar name and selling similar products could potentially be a case of infringement on your common law rights.

However, the presence of a Canadian company with a registered trademark for a similar name complicates matters, especially if they operate in the same industry. Your first step should be to document your use of the name and any potential confusion caused by the other business. You might consider sending a cease and desist letter to the Maryland business, but it's crucial to proceed with caution given the trademarked Canadian company.

Consulting with a legal advisor experienced in trademark law can provide tailored advice and help you understand your rights and options. They can assist in navigating the complexities of trademark law and advise on the best course of action.

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