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Alex Reese
Alex Reese, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 3030
Experience:  Experienced in intellectual property law
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Hi, Im a pet sitter in Seattle, and my business/business

Resolved Question:

Hi,

I'm a pet sitter in Seattle, and my business/business name has been established since 2005. Last night I discovered a new pet sitter as started business in my area and offering my same services, and her business name is XXXXX XXXXX same as mine.
My business name isXXXXX
Her business name isXXXXX
Both of our business logos are based on the Lucky Cat.

I don't have my business name trademarked (though I plan to get right on that now!), do I have any rights in protecting my name and having her choose another one? From my years of experience with my business name, I know how many people (even my own clients) mess it up all the time, and I'm concerned that I will lose business to her based on the name alone, and her riding on the success of my business name and outstanding reputation in Seattle.

What can I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  Alex Reese replied 1 year ago.

Alex Reese :

hello

Alex Reese :

you should have common law TM rights that are superior to hers, so i suggest registering your mark asap

Alex Reese :

I assume you have been using your name longer than they have used theirs

Customer:

Yes, I have been using mine since 2005, and it appears she started her business just a month ago.

Customer:

What can/should I say to her?

Alex Reese :

sorry i lost contact

Alex Reese :

you can send her a cease and desist letter

Alex Reese :

which point out your TM rights and usage of the mark, nad indicates that her mark is similar and being used in the same class of services...and is likely to cause consufer confusion

Alex Reese :

it is best if it comes from an attorney though...since it wil be from you and may not be written properly

Alex Reese :

did our chat get erased?

Alex Reese :

did you see my comments about a ceas and desist letter?

Customer:

Yes, sorry, I had to go quickly walk a dog.

Customer:

How do I go about getting a cease and desist letter? If I need it to come from an attorney, how do I find someone who handles this field, and is inexpensive?

Customer:

Oops, ...if IT needs to come from an attorney...

Alex Reese :

it doesn't have to be from an attorney, but its definitely preferred, otherwise you have to figure out how to write it yourself

Alex Reese :

any TM attorney that does litigation can do it

Customer:

What kind of attorney do I look for?

Customer:

Trademark?

Alex Reese :

yes. you should try to find a local one.

Alex Reese :

one that you can meet with.

Customer:

How much do you think that costs? Generally speaking?

Alex Reese :

depends on the billing rate of the attorney and if any research is required etc....but at least a few hundred dollars

Alex Reese :

you can always get an estimate from them before they do work or arrange a fixed fee perhaps

Customer:

If I can't afford it, is there some kind of guideline for writing one myself?

Alex Reese :

sure you can find samples online

Customer:

My mother works in a law office down in Los Angeles, I could possible get guidance on wording. They do insurance law though.

Customer:

What do I google for samples?

Alex Reese :

trademark case and desist letter sample

Customer:

Thank you!

Customer:

Any other suggestions before I sign off?

Alex Reese :

well you also want to speak with the attorney about registering your mark...

Customer:

There's a way to do it online at http://www.nolo.com/products/online-trademark-application-nntrd.html

Customer:

Is that acceptable way to go about it?

Alex Reese :

yes, but the guidance may be limited and you may not want to be the one doing the filing and handling the application

Alex Reese :

there are many potnetial mistakes you can make....and that equals wasted money on the application and the service

Customer:

I see.

Alex Reese :

there are no re-do's or refunds when filing witht he PTO

Customer:

I'm a small business with no budget to work with, and finding out about the other sitter last night has thrown a major wrench in my wallet.

Customer:

I get that.

Alex Reese :

I see, well you will have to study up if you want to file yourself to try to avoid mistakes

Alex Reese :

best of luck!

Customer:

Thanks so much for your help, Alex!

Alex Reese, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 3030
Experience: Experienced in intellectual property law
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