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Author Topic: Trademark same name as foreign company  (Read 674 times)


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Trademark same name as foreign company
« on: 08-14-17 at 09:14 am »

Hi, I want to trademark a service but found a company based in India who has a website with the name that I want to eventually trademark. Their website is in English, though it's unclear if they serve clients in the US.

The website offers the same general type of services as I do (marketing) though the service I want to trademark is very different from theirs in terms of target market, design, and the services rendered.

They have not registered the name of their company on the USPTO, nor do they have any statement of copyright or legal notices on their website. My question is, can I:
A) sell a service that has the same name as an existing website based in India?
B) can I trademark it?

Thank you!


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Re: Trademark same name as foreign company
« Reply #1 on: 08-16-17 at 10:52 am »

Trademarks are usually limited in geographic scope.  If they aren't selling their services in the U.S. market, then they don't have trademark rights in the U.S.  If they are, then they could conceivably sue for infringement of their trademark rights and for cancellation of your trademark, assuming you use and register it.

One note, if you do go with that name, you may have issues eventually with customers finding their website and assuming it's you.  Because their use (and domain ownership) predates yours, you would have a difficult time suing them over that to stop them, unless of course they were encouraging it (and even then, an international lawsuit with the other party in India is basically burning up your money, because Indian courts aren't going to let you do anything to one of their own).
"The life of a patent solicitor has always been a hard one."  Judge Giles Rich, Application of Ruschig, 379 F.2d 990.

Disclaimer: not only am I not a lawyer, I'm not your lawyer.  Therefore, this does not constitute legal advice.


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