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Wilton A. Person
Wilton A. Person, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 4147
Experience:  MBA, Experienced and Knowledgeable in Intellectual Property Law
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I purchased the web url www.prolead.net, another business in

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I purchased the web url www.prolead.net, another business in a different state (who does not own the trademark) operates a similar business as www.proleadmedia.com. If Prolead is not trademarked (which it is not), can I do so. Similarly can I operate my (similar) business as Prolead.net which I am currently in the process of building.
Thank you for your question. The general rule is that the first to use a trademark for actual products or services has the superior right to use the mark.

If the other company was using the trademark for similar products or services, it could prevent your trademark from obtaining registration.

Yes, you could file a trademark but filing a trademark for a name that was already in use prior to your company may not be the best use of your time and money. You could certainly operate a similar business but you may expose yourself to potential trademark infringement claims if you are what is deemed the "junior user".

If you believe that you actually used the name first and have evidence of this fact, it may be worthwhile to pursue but you may wish to consult with an intellectual property attorney who could provide a comprehensive search and analysis of your trademark.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


So Prolead Media would not be sufficiently different than simply Prolead or Prolead.net even if Prolead Media does not have a Trademark filed?

The lack of a federal trademark registration would not mean that the company loses its rights to the trademark because the company would have common law rights which exist regardless of a federal registration.

The question is whether a consumer would believe that the mark without "media" is similar or affiliated with the other mark with media.

A full analysis may be a good investment as well as determining whether the mark is even eligible for protection or a valuable trademark.
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