patents and trademarks
una at DOLIOLUM.BIOLOGY.YALE.EDU
Tue Feb 4 14:24:40 CST 1997
Based on my reading about DYI trademark registration procedures at the
local public library, trademarks may apply to any distinctive name or
slogan used to denote a specific business or product. Registration does
not affect non-commercial uses of the same name. It also do not apply
outside of the immediate market in which the trademark is registered.
Hence, the trademark "Bob's Custom Service", belonging to a company in
my city that comes to your house to steam-clean your rugs, probably
would not infringe on an identical trademark belonging to a company in
the same city that sells expensive silverware. And a Bob's Custom
Service in another city probably also would not infringe. (British
members of TAXACOM may be amused to know of an OddBins knock-off, with
the identical logo, here in New Haven: the store owner proudly told
me he has no connection with the well-known British chain of liquor
shops, but he gets a lot of business by trading on the famous OddBins
logo, which is not registered here, hence available for him to use as
the name of his own liquor shop.)
And in any case, registering a name as a trademark does not guarantee
a business's exclusive right to use it.
In short: not to worry.
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