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Q: Trade Names ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Question  
Subject: Trade Names
Category: Business and Money > Small Businesses
Asked by: tucsonjim-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 08 Sep 2002 02:14 PDT
Expires: 08 Oct 2002 02:14 PDT
Question ID: 62754
Is there such a thing as a Federal Trade Name, i.e., a Trade Name that
applies to all states, or can Trade Names only be registered in the
state in which the business resides? If a Trade Name can only be
registered in it's home base state, then how do large companies
protect their Trade Names from being used by someone else in an other
state?  By Trademarking their business name?
Thanks
Jim
Answer  
Subject: Re: Trade Names
Answered By: wlk115-ga on 08 Sep 2002 12:17 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
 
Hello and thank you for your interesting question. I discovered the
following during my search on “Registering a trade name”

  You are correct, large companies protect their trade names by
registering their trade name as a service mark or trademark.

5 of the sites I checked had the exact same paragraph in their FAQ’s

This is from 1-2-3-Incorporates’  "Learn about incorporating"
[ http://www.123-incorporate.com/incdata/faq.htm ]

“Can I protect a trade name nationwide? 
‘There is no national registration of trade names. Generally,
businesses, including corporations, protect their trade names by
registering their trade name as a service mark or trademark if the
trade name also functions as a service mark or trademark. Because of
the legal complexities involved, we recommend that businesses obtain
private counsel to get advice on how to protect a trade name in
interstate commerce.”

This is from the FAQ’s page of Active Filings Incorporation Services
[ http://www.activefilings.com/en/information/faq_miscellaneous.htm ]

“Can I protect a trade name nationwide? 
There is no national registration of trade names. Generally,
businesses, including corporations, protect their trade names by
registering their trade name as a service mark or trademark if the
trade name also functions as a service mark or trademark. Because of
the legal complexities involved, we recommend that businesses obtain
private counsel to get advice on how to protect a trade name in
interstate commerce”

I then did a search on “registering a trademark” and discovered that:

Trademark rights arise from either (1) actual use of the mark, or (2)
the filing of a proper application to register a mark in the United
States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) stating that the applicant
has a bona fide intention to use the mark in commerce regulated by the
U.S. Congress. Federal registration is not required to establish
rights in a mark, nor is it required to begin use of a mark. However,
federal registration can secure benefits beyond the rights acquired by
merely using a mark. For example, the owner of a federal registration
is presumed to be the owner of the mark for the goods and
services specified in the registration, and to be entitled to use the
mark nationwide.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has a booklet on their
web site entitled "Basic Facts About Registering A Trademark" [
http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/tac/doc/basic/ ], you can read it
online or download it. The booklet explains how and why to register a
trademark. They also have contact information if you need more
information.

Below are some short excerpts from their website.

United States Patent and Trademark Office 
http://www.uspto.gov
"The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) reviews
trademark applications for federal registration and determines whether
an applicant meets the requirements for federal registration."

Basic Facts About Registering A Trademark [
http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/tac/doc/basic/trade_defin.htm ]

"What is a trademark or service mark? 

A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination of
words, phrases, symbols or designs, that identifies and distinguishes
the source of the goods of one party from those of others.
A service mark is the same as a trademark, except that it identifies
and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product.
Throughout this booklet, the terms "trademark" and "mark" refer to
both trademarks and service marks. ...Trademarks, copyrights and
patents all differ. A copyright protects an original artistic or
literary work; a patent protects an invention..."

"Is registration of my mark required? [
http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/tac/doc/basic/register.htm]

No. You can establish rights in a mark based on legitimate use of the
mark. However, owning a federal trademark registration on the
Principal Register provides several advantages, e.g.,
constructive notice to the public of the registrant's claim of
ownership of the mark; 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; the ability to bring an action concerning
the mark in federal court; the use of the U.S registration as a basis
to obtain registration in foreign countries; and the ability to file
the U.S. registration with the U.S. Customs Service to prevent
importation of infringing foreign goods.

When can I use the trademark symbols TM, SM and ?

Any time you claim rights in a mark, you may use the "TM" (trademark)
or "SM" (service mark) designation to alert the public to your claim,
regardless of whether you have filed an application with the USPTO.
However, you may use the
federal registration symbol "" only after the USPTO actually
registers a mark, and not while an application is pending.
Also, you may use the registration symbol with the mark only on or in
connection with the goods and/or services listed in the federal
trademark registration."

HOW DO I FILE A TRADEMARK APPLICATION? [
http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/tac/doc/basic/howtofile.htm ]

"Is there a form for filing my application?
Yes. Using the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS)
available at http://www.uspto.gov/teas/index.html, you can file your
application directly over the Internet."

search terms used:
Registering a trade name
Can I protect a trade name nationwide
registering a trademark
registering a US trademark

If you need more information please request a clarification.
tucsonjim-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Hi wlk115,
Thanks for the quick and excellent response, not only did you answer
my question(s), but in addition you provided me with several links so
that I may confirm and follow up on your findings. Nice job!
Appreciate it.
Jim

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