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The law says that if I started selling shirts with Nike on them in my hometown of Nashville before Nike applied for their trademark registration, then they were granted registration status, they still would not be allowed to sell Nike in Nashville. If they did, I could send them a C&D, then take them to court. Simple.
Actually, it's not that simple at all.

There was a case in my hometown where a pizza place was called something like Pizza Pizza for years. Soon, Little Caesar's pizza came to town and brought a lawsuit against the original Pizza Pizza place (and won) and the original place had to change their name.

Just because you use it, doesn't mean you have a common law trademark. If you're serious about wanting to protect your brand, you should register a trademark, but you have to be willing to be like FC and defend it or risk losing your mark.

You should also be talking to a lawyer if you have law questions (unless coming out swinging is offering free legal advice ;) )
 

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It doesn't matter how many lawsuits a company brings or even if the judge rules a different way than the law states(like that's never been done before), it doesn't change the simplicity of the law.
I think that and the fact that the law can be interpreted so many different was means that it's not that "simple". That's my opinion anyway.

If the law was "simple", it wouldn't need complicated law cases and confusing rulings. Because the law can be interpreted in different ways and because different rulings set precedents seems to indicate to me that it's not really simple at all, and it would make sense for someone to get real legal advice if they are trying to protect a trademark.

That's just my opinion though :)
 
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