Friday, July 27, 2007

Trademark Question From a Reader
"If I have an agreement as an exclusive distributor of a product, and the product name was in use prior to my agreement, but not trademarked, can I apply for and receive a trademark for the product name."

Sincerely,
Jerry

Thanks for your question Jerry!

Yes, a trademark does grant a
legal presumption of the registrant's ownership of the mark and the registrant's exclusive right to use the mark nationwide on or in connection with the goods and/or services listed in the registration.

However, it sounds as if
Common-Law rights are going to be at play here. So, even if the manufacturer does not have a trademark, they are still going to have Common-Law rights to the name.

Here's what the USPTO has to say:
"Where the mark is used by a related company, the owner is the party who controls the nature and quality of the goods sold or services rendered under the mark. The owner is the only proper party to apply for registration."

Hope that helps Jerry!

Any other questions out there? Please email me at shannon at tmexpress dot com.

Read more about trademarks here

2 comments:

Mode One Author said...

Shannon ....

I'm a book author, and I came up with a very 'catchy' slogan to be used in future advertising campaign.

What steps do I need to take to trademark and/or copyright this slogan so that it is exclusively mine??

Alan Roger Currie
Author, "Mode One: Let The Women Know What You're REALLY Thinking"

Shannon, TradeMark Express said...

Hi Alan,

Thanks for your question! I'll get to work on creating a post specific to your question ASAP. Once completed, I'll email to let you know. Also, please sign up for our feed so you can get posts delivered straight to your inbox.

Thanks again!