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Trademark and Company search

1222 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  kimura-mma
So I have decided to try and start a second brand. As if one isnt hard enough. I have been doing a little research and found a suitable name and did a couple searches. I searched the US trademark and patent office records and came up empty, I also did a company search, also coming up empty. The one thing I did find was some people selling things with the exact name I want to use on zazzle.

Suprisingly enough the .com domain is actually available. So my question is. Is it safe to assume no one owns the company name and or trademark to the name I want to use? Should I go ahead and register the domain?
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Registering a company name, registering a domain and registering a trademark are three separate things. Having one will not protect or guarantee availability of another.

If you did a company search and can't find anything, it seems you should be ok. Company names are registered with your state, so even if there is another one, it should only matter if they are in the same state. Even if there is one, you can still operate under a different name, but use the name you like for your brand.

The domain name is the easiest of the three. If it's available it's yours. But this won't help you get, protect or prove ownership of a company name or trademark. It simply gives you the domain name.

If there is no federal registration with the USPTO, that's good. But since it is being used on Zazzle, there would seem to be some common law trademark. It's impossible to know how extensive it is though. First use in commerce will always be used as an indicator of ownership. So technically, you may lose the name if it ever comes up. It's probably best to consult an attorney, they should be able to shed better light on the subject and tell you what the risks and rewards are. It may be as simple as contacting the owners of the Zazzle store and find out their intentions.

As far as registering the domain, perhaps you should get more info first. If you go ahead and register a domain that you know is already being used as a brand name, couldn't that be considered cybersquatting?
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I sent a msg off to the guy that is aparently the designer of the shirts on zazzle. From the looks of the page the last entry was from 2007 so I doubt I will hear back from him. I am going to contact a lawyer to see where I stand and if all goes well I will register a business name and have it trademarked. Thanks for the insight kimura. Your posts are super informative.
Your welcome.

Let us know what kind of response and feedback you get from the designer and attorney. That kind of info can be helpful to others on the forum.

Good luck with everything!
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