Isit legal to use the word Rolodex in my company name?

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Isit legal to use the word Rolodex in my company name?

The company name is MySocialRolodex.com? Also my logo features a vectorized custom graphic of a Rolodex with an arrow wrapping around it. I don’t see why it would be a problem. I also registered my TM with Legal Zoom about 4 months ago.

Asked on June 17, 2011 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately for you, it appears that "Rolodex" is a registered trademark. If it is, you may *not* use it you own company name or for your product or service. The owner of a trademark has the right to prevent others from using it for their own benefit or to his detriment; that includes the right to prevent others from implying an association or link between their own product or business and the trademark owner's trademark. If you use a trademark for your own purposes or incorporate it into your materials with the owner's permission, you've committed trademark violation. The owner may seek damages (money) or sue to force you to change the name.

Note that LegalZoom may NOT register trademarks; only the Patent and Trademark Office can. It's possible that LegalZoom maintains some database, but that does not have legal effect. Alternately, if you mean you used LegalZoom to try register with the PTO, that still means nothing until the registeration is granted--and even then, it's not ironclad if there's a previous mark that was possible missed during the search to see if the trademark was available.


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