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Robert McEwen, Esq.
Robert McEwen, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 16328
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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There! The term Happy Catholic is a registered trademark.

Customer Question

Hi there! The term Happy Catholic is a registered trademark. (see below) I am starting a multi-contributor blog called the Happy Catholic Revolution. I will also be selling products with this on them: #happycatholic Will I be in violation by calling my
website/brand the Happy Catholic Revolution and selling products with #happycatholic on them? I also own the domain name http://happycatholic.com. It re-directs to happycatholicrevolution.com. Is this an issue? HAPPY CATHOLIC Goods and Services IC 041. US
100 101 107. G & S: Online journals, namely, blogs featuring information relating to religion, movies, books, music, art and popular culture. FIRST USE: 20040502. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20040502 Standard Characters Claimed Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER
MARK Serial Number 85343673
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  Robert McEwen, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for using JustAnswer.
Yes. Even "Happy Catholic Revolution" would likely be infringing, but #happycatholic would be as "Happy Catholic" is a registered mark in the same industry, likely appealing to the same potential customers.
The crux of trademark law is "likelihood of confusion". . That is, confusion that consumers will believe the products or services originated or was authorized from the trademark owner. If there is an action against someone using a mark, the court is going to look at the following factors to see if there is such a likelihood:
Strength of the mark
Proximity of the goods
Similarity of the marks
Evidence of actual confusion
Marketing channels used
Type of goods and the degree of care likely to be exercised by the purchaser
Defendant's intent in selecting the mark
Likelihood of expansion of the product lines
The various factors are weighed, so it's not one or the other. All of the above don't have to be present, and one factor could lead so much to a likelihood of confusion as to outweigh all the others and still lead to an implication of infringement.
In short (and I'm really sorry to say this) that if you used that hashtag, it would almost certainly be infringing, and even "Happy Catholic Revolution" would likely be infringing due to the similarity of marketing channels and industries that the marks would be used in.
I know this is probably not what you wanted to hear, but it is the law. I hope that clears things up anyway. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!
Expert:  Robert McEwen, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
If the owner of the trademark gives me her permission, is there some sort of written agreement I should ask her to sign? And what about using #happycatholic on a t-shirt? Her trademark is only for blogging, not products.
Expert:  Robert McEwen, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
It would be a "license". Here's a good example: http://www.entrepreneur.com/formnet/form/1133 As far as using it on a shirt, you could probably get away with that, although it's never a certainty. Even if a mark is in a certain industry, if it is a more unique mark then it will have a wider reach. For example, Exxon Mobil is a pretty distinctive mark. Even though it is an oil and gas company, if someone were to try to create a soda that had the same name, Exxon Mobil would be up to stop it because of the distinctiveness of their name. It's more likely that you would be able to get by using that on a T-shirt, but it would certainly be better to have permission to do so first. Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!
Expert:  Robert McEwen, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?
Expert:  Robert McEwen, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Are you there? Please note that I am still here, awaiting your response or rating... (please note that rating closes this question out, so if there's nothing else, please rate it so that I can assist other customers that are waiting for answers to their questions)
Expert:  Robert McEwen, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Should I continue to await your response, or may I assist the other customers that are waiting?
Expert:  Robert McEwen, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
My apologies, but I must assist the other customers that are waiting. If there's nothing else, please rate this answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better) AND press the "submit" button, if applicable.▼ RATING REQUIRED! ▼ Please don't forget to Rate my service as OK Service or higher. It's only then I am credited.If you feel that I have gone above and beyond in this answer (my average answer is about 10 minutes) bonuses are greatly appreciated. Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!
Expert:  Robert McEwen, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
I see that you have not responded in some time. Please note that this question is still open until you rate it. I believe that I have answered your question, but if you have any other questions, please let me know.If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, ***** ***** good luck to you!