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J.Hazelbaker
J.Hazelbaker, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 4385
Experience:  Experienced and trained in the area of business law.
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I started a business and have been in business for a significant

Customer Question

I started a business and have been in business for a significant number of years.
if a family member of mine created a Logo using my business name and had that Logo Trademarked is there anything i can do to stop them from operating under my business name?
and can they stop me from using the name?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  J.Hazelbaker replied 3 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
J.Hazelbaker :

Hello. Thank you for using JustAnswer.

Customer :

are you there?

J.Hazelbaker :

Yes.

J.Hazelbaker :

As long as you can prove that you created and utilized the mark before your family member, your claim can prevail.

Customer :

ok

J.Hazelbaker :

Since you have been in business, you should have some documented use of the name.

J.Hazelbaker :

Go back as far as you can find something published with that business name.

Customer :

what if they created the mark that they had trademarked

J.Hazelbaker :

In this context, "published" means anything that was put out publicly (e.g. an advertisement, business card, etc.)

Customer :

and just used the name

J.Hazelbaker :

You can challenge that trademark, if the name is XXXXX XXXXX it.

J.Hazelbaker :

You can also force them to stop using the name through the Minnesota Secretary of State's office.

Customer :

i have my own mark that i use, does his mark that I have need to be identical.

J.Hazelbaker :

Each state protects the rightful use to a business name. When you create and use a name first, you have rightful use. If you filed the name with the Secretary of State, then the state will prevent anyone else from using it.

Customer :

mine is not trade marked

J.Hazelbaker :

No. It just needs to be confusing.

J.Hazelbaker :

If someone would confuse their mark with yours, then the later mark can't be used.

J.Hazelbaker :

It doesn't have to be trademarked to be protected.

J.Hazelbaker :

Trademark helps because it conclusively established a date that the mark entered commerce, but it isn't mandatory.

Customer :

Ok so just be sure this is a federal trademark.

J.Hazelbaker :

As long as you can prove that you created it and when it entered use, then you can prevail.

J.Hazelbaker :

Correct, federal trademark.

J.Hazelbaker :

see www.uspto.gov

Customer :

but i did not create it

J.Hazelbaker :

http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/process/index.jsp

Customer :

he did

Customer :

ok

J.Hazelbaker :

You created the mark, you created the name that you use.

J.Hazelbaker :

Then he created a mark and used the name.

J.Hazelbaker :

He can't use the name.

J.Hazelbaker :

He may be able to use the mark,

J.Hazelbaker :

if the mark is distinctly different than yours.

J.Hazelbaker :

But, not if the mark is inseparable from the name.

Customer :

the mark is a frame and a "s" but the name is "sunny's"

J.Hazelbaker :

Please let me know, if you have any follow-up questions. If my above responses have been helpful, please click Accept so that I get credit for the time/effort. You may always restart the thread and ask follow-up questions at any time by clicking the “Reply” button at the bottom of the question/answer thread. You can access this thread later in your profile under the “My Questions” tab.

J.Hazelbaker, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 4385
Experience: Experienced and trained in the area of business law.
J.Hazelbaker and 4 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  J.Hazelbaker replied 3 years ago.
If the mark is similar to any mark you use and the nature of the businesses that you are in and he is in are similar, then he can't use the mark (or, rather, you can stop him from using the mark).

If the mark is different OR the business are different, then he can keep using the mark.

But, he can't use the name.

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