I own a company called Aquarius Marine, Inc. I recently went into the 2011 Marine Directory and found a new company by the name of Aquarius Boat Cleaning. Do I have any legal rights to have the name Aquarius changed by them. We feel that as time goes along this company will branch out and start engine repairs to increase there revenue.
State/Country relating to question: California
I hope this message finds you well. If you have not filed for either a state or federal trademark, you will face an uphill battle. Simply by using a mark in commerce, you have what is called a common law right to trademark on the name. The filing of a mark and granting of said mark by the state and/or feds gives you a presumption that you were the first person to use the mark in commerce and shifts the burden to the infringing party as to why they are not infringing.
If you have not filed for trademark protection, I would recommend doing so as soon as possible. It is relatively inexpensive and may pay dividends down the line. I personally would not recommend a suit against this other company until such time as you have secured a trademark on the name, even though you may already technically have rights to the name at common law.
I hope this helps and best wishes.
Patent Bar Certified
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