Written by : Rebbeca Bronston
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can you get a trademark if someone else is already using your name the answer is maybe just maybe it depends upon a few things let's talk about them first if someone else is already using your name but they don't have a registered trademark then you just might be in luck so let's say that you've been operating I don't know Sam sandwich shop and is another Sam sandwich shop in some other part of the country or the world that's been using their name longer than you if they didn't file for trademark protection first you can still race them to the trademark office file your application and possibly get your trademark rights first so just because someone else is already using your name even if it's in connection with the same business as you you could still obtain trademark protection but what if someone has already filed for trademark protection for their name before you and has trademark rights can you still get trademark protection the answer is still maybe alright I'm chock full of good news today so two companies with the same name can both have trademark rights so long as they have different types of goods or services this might surprise people because you may think that once you have a trademark you get a monopoly or exclusive rights to use your name but that's not the case you only get exclusive rights within the same classes or categories or types of goods and services that you offer so think about Delta the airline and Delta the water faucet company both are called Delta both have trademarks and they're allowed to do so because consumers aren't really confused they don't think that the same company that flies planes also helps you get water from your sink so if you have a name that you want to get protected but you're worried because you see somebody else is out there online using it or you know that they have a registered trademark you're not dead in the water yet by contacting a trademark attorney they can run what's called a trademark clearance search and be able to determine one what is your likelihood of success of getting a trademark based upon what other trademarks have been filed before you or what roadblocks might exist for you obtaining trademark protection and by having that information you and your trademark attorney can come up with a plan of how to protect your business name or logo and get all those wonderful and exclusive rights that come with trademark protection but you might be thinking Ethan what are these wonderful benefits that come with getting a trademark I'd love to tell you about them but you've already been watching this video for like two and a half minutes so instead I invite you to visit trademark Tuesday's com where you can download our free guide called how to protect and grow your business or brand with trademarks and it's going to provide you with answers to all common questions about trademarks such as what is the trademark process what are the benefits or what will happen if someone else uses my name so visit trademark Tuesdays dot-com download your free guide and get all those juicy answers to those tough trademark questions that you've been thinking about there's actually coffee in this cup okay not much less but you were thinking I was faking it uh-huh it's coffee it's cold but there's coffee
Thanks for your comment Buddy Risius, have a nice day.
- Rebbeca Bronston, Staff Member
hello hello and welcome to another episode of Rachael Rogers TV today I want to address a question that was asked in my brand boss beta group what is brand boss you may be wondering I will tell you at the end but the question that was asked is one that is fairly common the question was is my business name the same as my brand name and as with all things legal the answer is it depends this is an excellent question that I love digging into with my clients because understanding how your business name and your brand name intersect can determine so many aspects of your business including your marketing your branding and the legal steps that you need to take to protect your brand and since your brand is how you present yourself in the marketplace it's a crucial component to your business's success the common thinking is that your business name is the exact same as your brand name and that can be true in some instances but for a lot of businesses it is not now all businesses have a business name whether you're a sole proprietor an LLC or an S corp when you form your business and register it with the state that you live in you have to choose a name right you have to put a name on the Articles of Incorporation or the articles of organization this is the name that's on your IRS documents it's the name that's on your business bank account so it's your official name that's the name of your business so your business name is the name that the government knows you by however many businesses operate in the marketplace under a different name than they chose when they were filling out their government documents often when entrepreneurs are just starting out and they're anxious to get their business going they don't spend a lot of time figuring out what the brand is going to be they just choose a really basic name like you know Jane's health coaching or Erica's accounting services and put that on their government documents and call it a day so that they can get started and the other reason that this happens is that brands evolve right you might start out thinking that you're going to be serving a certain market or doing a certain thing and as you engage with the marketplace you find that actually it's people in this niche over here that are really interested in your services and so that might shift your brand a bit when you're first starting out so this is how you could wind up with a business name on your government documents that is different than the brand name that you advertise to your customers names like Jane's health coaching or Erika's accounting services are are generic they are not distinguishable in the marketplace so if you chose a name like this when you first started your business you may not want to keep using it to build your brand on right because it will be hard for people know you and know the difference between Jaden's health coaching and Jamie's health coaching right they're just not distinguishable in the marketplace the goal of a really strong brand is to distinguish your business from others like it and to show your customers what you stand for here's the thing I want you to know that is totally okay if you chose a generic name for your business name way back when you started your business that's totally fine to be different from the brand name that you used in the marketplace so I did the same thing when I first started my business I was known as Rachel Rodgers law office PC right and that is a very generic name and as my business grew and I brought on a team and we've sort of shifted we decided to change the name so now our name is Rogers collective so even though our official business name on government documents is rachel rogers law office PC we are now known in the marketplace as Rogers collective and Rachel Rogers law office PC also owns other brands including small business bodyguard and legal nunchucks and our latest brand brand boss when you're trying to determine whether your brand name is the same and we're different than your business name you want to consider two things one what is the name you register your business as with the government that's the name on the Secretary of State documents it's the name that the IRS has and it's the name that your bank knows and then secondly you want to consider what is the name that your customers know you by the name that you use in the marketplace that is your brand name they can be the same but often they are not and that is totally okay but the thing to know is if you do have multiple brands that are owned by your overall business then you should be taking steps to protect each of those brands by registering the trademark for them if you want to learn more about your brand names and how to protect them then you should check out our new mini eCourse that we've set up for you it's completely free and you can find it at small business bodyguard comm slash brand boss so that's all I have for you today folks thank you so much for watching Rachel Roger's TV if you enjoyed this video please share it with a friend and if you never want to miss an episode of Rachel rogers TV please subscribe using these barber boxes below thanks so much for watching and I'll see you next time bye-bye
Thanks Gemma your participation is very much appreciated
- Rebbeca Bronston
About the author
I've studied analytical chemistry at University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in Chickasha and I am an expert in ring theory. I usually feel nerdy. My previous job was reliability engineer I held this position for 16 years, I love talking about writing and bocce ball. Huge fan of Ray Charles I practice pommel horse and collect toys.
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