How Do You Know If Something Is Already Copyrighted Or Trademarked?

How do I know if something is already trademarked?

You can search for federally registered trademarks by using the free trademark database on the USPTO’s website.

To start, go to the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Business Center at http://www.uspto.gov/main/trademarks.htm and choose “Search.” Then follow the instructions you see on the screen..

Any time your company uses a logo to identify its products or services, you establish common-law trademark rights. Common-law trademark rights may allow you to sue a competitor to prevent it from using your logo, particularly if it is in a way that attempts to portray itself as your company to consumers.

Are catch phrases copyrighted?

The answer is yes – a catchphrase can be trademarked, but only for the protection of its use in connection with a particular product or services. … The mere act of speaking a catchphrase isn’t, on its own, an act of commerce, so a trademark wouldn’t cover or protect you from someone else just saying your phrase.

What happens if something is trademarked?

Trademark law protects distinctive words, phrases, logos, symbols, slogans, and any other devices used to identify and distinguish products or services in the marketplace. When a trademark is registered with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), the trademark owner can enforce its mark across the United States.

Is a phrase trademarked or copyrighted?

A catch phrase is essentially a trademark. A trademark is any word, name, slogan, design, or symbol used in commerce to identify a particular product and distinguish it from others. … But unlike copyrights, trademark rights don’t begin at the moment a word, symbol, or phrase is first scribbled on paper.

Who owns a trademark?

Trademark law defines a related company as any person or entity whose use of a mark is controlled by the owner of the trademark with respect to the nature and quality of the goods and services.

How long does a US trademark last?

How long does a trademark registration last? A trademark registration may remain in force for potentially unlimited consecutive ten-year periods as long as the owner meets the legal requirements for post-registration maintenance and renewal and timely files all necessary documents.

Can I trademark a name already in use but not trademarked?

A registered trademark offers legal protection to unique logos and designs affixed to a tangible object. For this reason, you can’t file to register a trademark that someone else is already using if they used the trademark first.

Can you own a saying?

When you trademark a phrase, you protect the words that represent your product or service. … You can trademark a phrase at the local level by applying at your state trademark office. To trademark a phrase locally, you must already be using the phrase publicly. You can apply for a nationwide trademark with the USPTO.

Can you use the same brand name for different products?

And the answer to that is yes because when you register a trademark, you don’t get a monopoly over a word, phrase, or logo itself. … So as long as your products and services are completely different from the other registered trademarks you can safely use or even register that.

Can two companies have the same name?

Because business names are registered on a state-by-state basis, the fact that a company in another state has the same name as yours is usually not a cause for concern. However, you are right in that there could be intellectual property issues (namely, trademark) when two companies have the same name.

Can logos be used without permission?

A person or company should never use a trademark or logo without written permission from its owner. To get permission, write a letter to the trademark owner. Include a description of why you are asking and how the logo will be used. … However, even then, third parties cannot use logos without a specific agreement.

Can I use a trademarked logo on a personal shirt?

Trademark would not apply to your personal use, because to infringe a trademark, you need to “use” the mark, and “use” in trademark law generally means selling an item that has the mark on it. As far as trademark law is concerned, no sale means no infringement.

Can a trademark have two owners?

Yes, you can trademark something with joint ownership. A trademark can have multiple owners. If two or more parties wish to acquire joint ownership, they may file jointly for the trademark. … As with any trademark, a jointly owned trademark must be used to promote or sell goods or services.

Can I register a trademark without a company?

You do not need to own a company to register a trademark. The application can be made by natural person who did not conduct business activity yet. … If you want to register a trademark, but you do not have a company yet, remember about one thing. The law gives you 5 years to start using a trademark.

Permission Requests Thank you for your interest in Nike. Nike does not grant permission to use or modify our trademarks, logos, images, advertising or similar materials. … Nike is the correct use when referring to Nike as a brand.

Can you trademark a phrase on a T shirt?

Because a slogan or design silk-screened onto a T-shirt is not a trademark. … A trademark is any word, phrase, design or device that identifies the source of the goods identified by the mark. Don’t even attempt to register the trademark for a slogan or design that simply appears across the chest or back of tee-shirt.

Can a saying be trademarked?

Common words and phrases can be trademarked if the person or company seeking the trademark can demonstrate that the phrase has acquired a distinctive secondary meaning apart from its original meaning. That secondary meaning must be one that identifies the phrase with a particular good or service.

Is Nike Just Do It trademarked?

For example, the Nike swoosh symbol, the phrase “Just do it” and the name Nike are trademarked. … Trademarks are meant to protect the brand. If Nike hadn’t trademarked “Just do it,” anyone could use the phrase in branding and advertisements.

What do you do if someone is using your business name?

Enforce Your Trade Mark Rights If someone else is using the same business name, attempt to resolve the dispute by contacting the other business and negotiating a favourable outcome. If this approach is unsuccessful, you can enforce your rights by sending a cease and desist letter.

How do I know if a brand name is taken?

Legal Availability of Business Names in the United States You can conduct a search by yourself as well. You can go directly to Trademark Office and use their search engine Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS). The searches are free of charge, faster and often more up to date than commercial services.