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Sam, Attorney at Law
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 27011
Experience:  More than 20 years of experience practicing law.
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I'm starting an apparel company dedicated to apparel named

Customer Question

I'm starting an apparel company dedicated to apparel named "Koloa Apparel". Upon searching the internet I found that another company exist with a similar name but they are Koloa Surf Co. Can I still use the name? Should I stop making the shirts I've already made?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  Sam replied 1 year ago.


This is Samuel and I will discuss this and provide you information in this regard.

If your apparel has anything to do with surfing then no. You probably would be rejected in seeking a trademark. You can search the Trademarks/names and see if they have one. If they don't then I suggest you consider submitted for yours under that name.

My search reveals the names at this LINK and the Koloa Surf Co is trademarked. And there is also a simple "Koloa" which does apparel such as shirts, t-shirts, shorts, board shorts, sweat shirts, hooded sweatshirts, tank tops, hats and beanies.

I suggest that adding the word "Apparel" to your product would not be enough of a distinction for what is already trademarked.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What can I do to make a distinction between the two? My brand is about building unity with the slogan "treasure one another" . Koloa means 'treasure' in Tongan. Would I need to have a specific 'theme' to make my brand distinguishable, like koloa 'surf' co.? The name is ***** ***** to me, so I wouldn't consider changing it.
Expert:  Sam replied 1 year ago.

If a trademark has been used for a continuous period of at least five years after the date of registration, the right to use the mark and the registration may become "incontestable". .