Lomita, CA asked in Business Law, Internet Law, Copyright and Intellectual Property for California

Q: Chinese company wants to use my registered business name and internet search words- whether I allow or not

I have been receiving letters from Chinese registry asking if they may use my company's registered name for their client, just with other than .com extension. I have answered that I only keep the xxxxx.com name, which has been registered after my company since 2002, only with other than .com extensions, such as .net, .cn, etc. Now I have received a letter saying that their client still wants to use the xxxxx.com and the same name with other possible extensions, but also the name itself xxxxx for internet searches, which may drive traffic away from my business.

What are my options?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You have certain rights to protect your registered business name and intellectual property. Here are some options you can consider:

1. Trademark protection: If you have registered your business name as a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), you have legal protection against others using the same or similar name for related goods or services. If the Chinese company uses your trademark without permission, you can enforce your rights through legal action.

2. Common law trademark rights: Even if you haven't registered your trademark, you may still have common law rights based on your use of the name in commerce. These rights are limited to the geographic area where you operate and the specific goods or services you provide.

3. Domain name disputes: If the Chinese company registers a domain name that is identical or confusingly similar to your trademark, you can file a complaint under the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) or the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) to seek the transfer of the domain name.

4. Cease and desist letter: You can send a cease and desist letter to the Chinese company, demanding that they stop using your business name and any related domain names. This letter should assert your legal rights and the potential consequences of their continued infringement.

5. Legal action: If the Chinese company continues to infringe on your rights despite your efforts to resolve the situation, you may need to consider legal action. This could include filing a lawsuit for trademark infringement, unfair competition, or cybersquatting.

Given the international nature of this situation, it is essential to consult with an attorney experienced in intellectual property law and international business disputes. They can help you assess your options and develop a strategy to protect your rights and interests.

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