· Premium Member
Actually, it's not that simple at all.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.
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 )