Can I continue to use a business name that is not trademarked when a company in Canada has a registared trademark for a product under a similar name?

UPDATED: Aug 29, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Aug 29, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can I continue to use a business name that is not trademarked when a company in Canada has a registared trademark for a product under a similar name?

Am I at risk for trademark infringement? A Canadian company has a live registered mark for a product they have under a similar name. I submitted an application for registration with the uspto but it was rejected due to likelihood for confusion. Can I still use my name in commerce or is it better to re-name the business and file an amendment to my articles for inc.?

Asked on August 29, 2011 Pennsylvania


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If your trade name was rejected in your application due to it being confusingly similar to a registered name that is similar to that owned by a Canadian company, your use of the name in commerce is at risk to the ownership rights of the Canadian company where you have already been placed on notice of the likelihood of confusion of the two names by consumers.

From a business standpoint, why would you want to invest the time and money in the name of your business knowing that there is another company that most likely has greater ownership rights than you have as to the name?

I suggest you find another name for your business that is not confusingly similar to that of any other business. Trademark/service mark lawsuits are expensive to defend and are time consuming.

I would amend the name of your business with an amended filing with your state's secretary of state.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption