Can i use a trademarked name as part of my business name [Glossary]

Last updated : Sept 24, 2022
Written by : Cleo Gambone
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Can i use a trademarked name as part of my business name

Can I trademark my business name if it is trademarked?

You can register your brand name with the USPTO to protect your intellectual property from misuse. It is not immediately necessary to secure a trademark, though it could benefit your brand.

What happens if a name is trademarked?

Trademarking your name gives you an additional brand and keeps others from using your name. To trademark your name you must meet specific requirements with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Should I get a trademark or LLC first?

It is important to get BOTH an LLC and a trademark and it is best to form the LLC BEFORE applying for a trademark. Each offers different protections, and they work together to provide broad protection for your business. It is better to form an LLC before filing a trademark application.

Can a company sue you for having the same name?

Trademark Registration Then, the owner can face a lawsuit for using the same name as someone else even if the second party registered a trademark for the company after the first owner created the company. These situations usually require the services of a lawyer to both understand and pursue.

Can 2 businesses have the same name?

Can Two Companies Have the Same Name? Yes, however, certain requirements must be met in order for it to not constitutes trademark infringement and to determine which party is the rightful owner of the name.

Can the same name be trademarked twice?

However, if the two products are not related to one another and not likely to cause any confusion, then trademark law will not prevent the two companies from using the same name. Put differently, if the same name is registered in different trademark classes, this does not give rise to an infringement claim.

Can I use a name for a business that already exists?

Can I use a business name if it exists in another state? All may not be lost. You can often use the same business name in your own state or another state, if it is not in the state where the business name is filed, and it doesn't violate trademark rules. This is common practice for smaller local businesses.

How long does a trademark last?

A federal trademark lasts 10 years from the date of registration, with 10-year renewal terms. Between the fifth and sixth year after the registration date, the registrant must file an affidavit to state that the mark is still in use.

When should you trademark your business name?

In most cases, the best time to file a trademark application for your business name is right after you've filed paperwork to form your LLC or corporation. By doing this before your business officially launches, it protects the name for commercial use once you're up and running.

When can I start using my trademark?

Once we file the trademark within 1-2 days you may start using the TM symbol and after receiving a certificate you can use the ® symbol.

What if my business has the same name as another?

If your exact business name is taken by another company, your state's Secretary of State will not permit duplications so as to avoid confusion. That said, you can run into trademark issues if your business and another's fall within the same category or are substantially similar.

Can 2 businesses have the same name in different states?

Two Businesses Can Have the Same Name in Different States Because naming rules are limited to one state, businesses formed in different states can have identical names.

Can someone steal my business name?

Anyone can snatch up a business name and use it for their own business. There's no one uniform database or agency that ensures only one business is using a specific business name. That's how we often see very similar company names that aren't related by franchise or corporate ownership from one state to another.

What do you call a company that owns multiple companies?

A holding company is a type of financial organization that owns a controlling interest in other companies, which are called subsidiaries.

Should my business and LLC have the same name?

Your LLC name does NOT have to BE your business name or MATCH your website name. Your LLC name is your company's legal entity name while your business name is your brand name to market to your customers.

What are the 3 types of trademarks?

What you'll learn: Arbitrary and Fanciful Trademarks. Suggestive Trademarks. Descriptive Trademarks.

How do I know if a name is already trademarked?

Before you apply, you should search the USPTO's trademark database (Trademark Electronic Search System, or TESS) to see if any trademark has already been registered or applied for that is: Similar to your trademark. Used on related products or for related services, and.

What names Cannot be trademarked?

  • Proper names or likenesses without consent from the person.
  • Generic terms, phrases, or the like.
  • Government symbols or insignia.
  • Vulgar or disparaging words or phrases.
  • The likeness of a U.S. President, former or current.
  • Immoral, deceptive, or scandalous words or symbols.
  • Sounds or short motifs.

Can two businesses have the same DBA name?

For most states, two businesses will not be allowed to use the same DBA. Doing so will cause confusion, especially when the fictitious names are in the same industry. In order to use a DBA for your business, you must submit an application. Just make sure that your fictitious name isn't already taken!

Can I use a trademarked name for a different product?

By law, you need not request permission to use a trademark belonging to another if it is for an editorial or informational use. Trademark law protects distinctive words, phrases, logos, symbols, slogans, and any other devices used to identify and distinguish products or services in the marketplace.

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Can i use a trademarked name as part of my business name

Comment by Phylicia Machon

hey Angela Liang Lots business and trademark law attorney here and I am coming to you live like I do every weekday if you like this video and you think other people might find it useful please go ahead and share it to your friends I got a call yesterday from a guy who was confused about registering a business name and trademarks and your rights one visa via the other so I wanted to cover that today many people I get these same questions over and over again so I like to go over these many people are really confused about whether or not when they register a business entity with the Secretary of State whether or not they also have the right to use that name as a trademark well it depends it depends on whether you're actually using the trademark in commerce and whether or not anyone else has superior rights to that mark so let's go over what happens when you register a business entity with the Secretary of State so you submit your papers you choose a name you submit your papers and the Secretary of State will go through the registry of business entities to make sure that your business entity's name is not confusingly similar although that's not the term they use not what we do use that term in trademark law is not confusingly similar to another business entity because we don't want people who are doing business in the state to be confused about which business entity they're doing business with right that makes sense if your business entity's name is too close to another name then there might be some confusion about well who are we actually doing business with aside from that the Secretary of State does not ask are you actually going to be doing business with this entity or is it just like a little holding company for you privately is it a hobby business are you are you merely getting a business name so that you can set up a separate bank account they don't care what you're going to do with it the only inquiry that they make is is there another business that's already registered that has the name close to this if yes then you have to pick another name if no then you get your you excuse me your business name registered trademarks are totally different the trademark examiner is very very interested in your use or bona fide intent to use that mark in commerce and if you tell the Secretary of State hey I have no intention of using this mark I just want to squat on it I just want to keep it I just want to make sure that nobody else can use it then the trademark examiner is gonna say I'm sorry you don't have rights to that mark the only way that you can acquire trademark rights is through either use of the mark in commerce or a bona fide intent to use the mark in commerce at some point you are going to have to prove that you are actually using the mark in commerce and it doesn't matter if no one else is using it right we don't care if no one else is using that mark we only care are you using the mark so it's not like the secretary of the state the Secretary of State says you know yes you can have it as long as no one else is using it the trademark office says yes you can have it as no as long as no one else is using it and as long as you're actually using it so there are no squatters rights in trademark law yes you can register a business name and use that name as a trademark but only if but only if no one else is using it common-law using it in your geographic area okay so there are such things as common law trademark rights that you acquire through use that are good for the area in which the mark is being used so if nobody else is using that mark in your geographic area then you can use the mark or you can you can also be prevented from using the mark for your business name if someone else has registered a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office if they have done that then they have superior rights to you in every state and territory of the United States and you will not be given a registration and if you go ahead and use that mark in commerce you're very likely to get what I like to call a nasty Graham that's a cease and desist letter from the mark owners attorney telling you to stop using that mark so again trademark rights are acquired through use and you only have the right to use them irrespective of your business name okay you only have the right to use them if you're actually using it and no one else has superior rights to you so I hope that clears up the confusion I'm going to tag the man who asked me about this and let him know that I've answered his question if you have trademark or business law questions please feel free to message me and my trademark doctor page trademark facebook-dot-com forward-slash trademark doctor you can also find an extensive FAQ at trademark doctor dotnet I go live here every weekday to talk about trademark and business matters

Thanks for your comment Phylicia Machon, have a nice day.
- Cleo Gambone, Staff Member

Comment by Alyssa

great question from Quora if my brand is well-established but I didn't trademark the name can someone else trademark it and then file lawsuit on me even after I've been using the name for years i'm andre mink of the father of trademark factory and here's my answer to this question why oh my what a question so you have a well-established brand but you didn't trade market why not thirsty why not why the hell not why would you not protect a well-established brand something that can become your most valuable asset of your entire business why would you not protect it it's beyond me but okay let's go with your scenario you've got a well-established business and you didn't trademark the name can't someone else trademark it and then sue you for trademark infringement yes yes they can and here's why the trademarks office doesn't care about unregistered trademarks they don't care how long you've been using this mark without trademark Ian they don't care how well-established your brand is all they care about are trademarks that have been applied for or registered within their system that's the only thing they look at so unless you've got a famous brand that for some reason isn't trademarked which is almost something that never happens but we're talking about massive brands like Microsoft you know or say this type of brands big brands and if you're not one of them then doesn't apply to you because it's called famous trademarks they have special treatment but Trevor's office does not care about trademarks outside of their system so anybody else could jump in and trademark your brand and they would have a trademark registration certificate and when they do have one yes they can file a lawsuit against you and if you don't respond to that lawsuit they will win no matter how long no matter all well established you are with your business and with your brand because anybody can sue anybody for anything doesn't mean they're gonna win but what it does mean is if somebody Sue's you you have to defend it you have to defend it you have to spend money you have to toss spend time you have to spend your emotions you have to spend your energy fighting this lawsuit because if you don't a default judgment is gonna be entered against you and you're gonna lose even if you're right and they're wrong so but let's say you've got the budget to defend the case then yes probably you'll win if you can prove that you were there with us brand in the same industry long before they trademark theirs if you are in the country that respects unregistered trademarks as common law trademarks for example you ask for Canada then you would in theory be able to win but it's gonna cost you hundreds of times more then it would have cost you to just go ahead and trademark the damn thing a good example that I have is so there was a case in Canada called woodpecker flooring so there was this flooring company in Richmond it's near Vancouver and they were in business for 20 years well established never bothered to trade on their name so a competitor across the street we have a whole street there in Richmond where as near idea we're all of those you know home declarations and home construction companies are right they sell all sorts of stuff and there's a lot of them across the street so there's their competitor across the street goes ahead and trademarks woodpecker flooring and trademarks office doesn't care about the twenty year old company because they haven't bothered to trade wonder the name so they register that trademark and then the new company finds nothing better to do than to file a lawsuit against the old company I'd say Dada Dada Dada we all this trademark you should stop using this brand because it's now ours and the old company was having none of it they defended the case they won the new company appealed so the old company won that as well so on by the book by the book the old company is okay right they they got they they won the Webster they they want lawsuit here's the problem with that well actually two problems problem number one the old company had to spend a lot of money well into six figures to defend the case to not be found infringing the rights of the new company and second even more important the new company still owns that mark they just can't enforce it against the company it was there first but the old company can't expand anymore geographically so they can't open woodpecker flooring let's say you know in Theriot or they can't or Alberta or any other province in Canada because trademarks are federal so the only exception to the enforceability of that new trademark is Vancouver and Richmond right this close area next to that store because this is where the old company still has what's called common law rights to the name but that's it that's it if they have not become known under that name in a certain part of the country when somebody else trademarks the same brand you're out of luck now they own it so if your brand is well established but you didn't trademark the name that's the big mistake that's really where the question should stop and the real question is why haven't you because if you're if you're hoping that nobody's gonna steal your brand if you're hoping that nobody's going to try to hijack it and then maybe get some money from you you're sorely mistaken the way I always say is before your business becomes truly successful somebody will trademark your brand it could be you or it could be somebody else why wouldn't it be you why would you create a massive problem for your business the problem that can be easily and inexpensively solved preemptively today so don't wait trademark your brand and don't worry about somebody else stealing it from you it's not really that expensive in fact for a business that's a real business it's not a hobby it's not expensive at all now I hope this answers your question make sure you like this video comment below and subscribe right we are working on these videos and the only way for us to know if you like them is by seeing your engagement just comments likes and subscribes so if you haven't yet subscribe now get notified whenever the next video goes live and I'll take it from there and I'll see you in the next video

Thanks Alyssa your participation is very much appreciated
- Cleo Gambone

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