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Trademark...how much checking to do?

1652 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Rodney
OK, so what if you have a name that you came up with and didn't steal from anyone, but are concerned about potential conflict with an existing business? You search online and find no conflict. After that you go and pay a bunch of dough and trademark the sucker (in this case, in the US). Is it possible for some previously unseen person/company who has been using this name to come out of the woodwork and insist that since they have been using the name, (although it is not a registered trademark) that you should cease and desist?

I hope not, I'm just wondering whether registering a Trademark puts you in the clear.:)
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Yes, it is very possible that someone says it was theirs before you registered it.
It happens all of the time.

But normally it would be hard for someone to actually win such a thing. The trademark process is exhaustive. The USPTO does it's own search after you submit your application. This includes all state registrations of businesses as well as online.

If you make it past this hurdle, the USPTO publishes your mark and puts the general public on notice that unless someone comes forward to dispute the registration, that they will officially register the mark.

Once this happens, then it will be extremely difficult for someone to win a claim and get your registration revoked, though not impossible.

More than likely, once you get registered, you should be in the clear.
Sounds good. Thanks for the info.:)

Another thing I'm wondering is, do you loose money if you apply for the Trademark and the application is rejected?:confused:

I'm guessing "yes."
You guess correctly!
Another thing I'm wondering is, do you loose money if you apply for the Trademark and the application is rejected
Yep. It's just an "application" fee. No guarantee that your application will be approved. No money back guarantee if it's not :)

That's why many of the places that offer trademark registration help also offer (and highly promote) their "exhaustive search" services. They do all types of online/offline research in different places to find any traces of your name being used that could trip up your trademark application.

Although name similarity is only one of the things that could trip up an application.

Still, if you are trying to establish, build and protect a brand, it's all WELL worth it.
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