Can I get a trademark for a name if someone else is using it for a different type of business?

You want to get a trademark for a name for your restaurant, but someone is using the name for a type of wrench.  Can you get the trademark?  It’s possible!

Maybe you’ve heard about trademark classes.  A trademark class defines the types of goods and services that can be protected, and it’s used by the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) to organize trademarks and service marks.  If you want to register your restaurant’s name, that would fall under class 43: Services for Providing Food and Drink.  If your restaurant wants to sell branded clothing, you would need to register that trademark in a second class, class 25: Clothing.  You would need to conduct trademark searches in both classes to make sure not to be guilty of trademark infringement.

Are there exceptions to the rule?  Of course!  If a brand is very well known and its mark is considered famous, like Coca Cola or Google, then it gets a broader scope of protection even outside its class of goods.

Trademark registration can be complex, but you don’t have to endure the legal challenges alone. Contact Gearhart Law at 908-273-0700 for your free consultation and more information.

Registering a trademark and using a trademark protects your brand.  Even if you don’t pursue a trademark immediately, a trademark search to ensure the name is free and clear is one of the first things you should do when naming your business.  A professional can help with a search, because even if no one has trademarked your exact name, if there’s a name that’s close in the class of goods that describes your business, it may be an uphill battle to get the trademark.

At Gearhart Law we have extensive experience in helping entrepreneurs get trademarks and we’d be happy to help you.  Give us a call at 908-273-0700 for your free consultation today!

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