What are the legal ramifications for me if the business name I want to use is in use by a blogger in another state?

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What are the legal ramifications for me if the business name I want to use is in use by a blogger in another state?

The name was trademarked by the blogger but the trademark was abandoned in 2007. The blog is of about their family but they have started a business in my field that is a spin-off of the name. Not the same name, but similar. Even though I can trademark the name, what are the legal ramifications that I should be aware of if I plan to use the name for my business and eventually a. TV show. My website will also have a blog.

Asked on January 19, 2012 under Business Law, New York

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you are concerned about trademarking the name that you want to use in your business pursuits where there is another similar name, you should retain a trademark attorney to register your name under the Lanham Act (federal registration). Once done you would have the use of the name and all similar names with the exception of similar names already being used in a given business.

The one issue I see raised by your question is that the blogger in the other state can claim that he or she legally has common law rights to use the similar name in the area where it is being used despite your Lanham Act registration.

The concern is that people in general might be confused by the similar names resulting in possible problems for you as to the sale of your intended product where the "blogger" could threaten legal action as to you.

 


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