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Thomas Swartz
Thomas Swartz, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
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Experience:  Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
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i have a competition bbq team "rub a belly bbq" I have received

Resolved Question:

i have a competition bbq team "rub a belly bbq" I have received a cease and desist letter from another team Dixie rubs who uses the tag line Rub my belly on their logo. Is that correct...that is their tag line not their team name
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  Thomas Swartz replied 1 year ago.
Hello JACUSTOMER,

Yes, it could be correct. If the company Dixie Rubs has a trademark on the phrase "Rub My Belly" they have a legitimate claim to prevent others from using similar names or phrases in the barbecue business. Trademark law is based on a likelihood of consumer confusion as to the source of the goods or services represented by the trademark. Dixie Rubs does not have to use phrase "Rub My Belly" in their name. It is sufficient if they have a trademarked phrase or tag line. And since "Rub My Belly" is very similar to "Rub a Belly", and since you are both in the barbecue business, it is my opinion that they have a legitimate claim to ask you to stop using "Rub a Belly" in association with your barbecue business.

I did do a quick Trademark Search at the U.S. Patent and Trademark website, and it does appear that the company Dixie does have a registered trademark for "Rub My Belly." So, it is probably best for you to indeed stop using "Rub a Belly" or you likely risk the possibility of a trademark infringement lawsuit by Dixie.

Thomas
Thomas Swartz, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 2811
Experience: Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
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