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Am I infringing upon an existing trademark/servicemark? For example, lets say I have incorporated QuoteHealth, LLC...

Grapevine, TX |

And there exists a federal SM for a company called Health Quote, am I infringing?

We would be materially in the same business..... brokering health insurance. There is no manufactured product, just a service. I have incorporated in Texas and have purchased the premium domain www.QuoteHealth.com as well.

I have changed the company names so it would not be identifiable, and the existing brand that we are talking about is not as strong as the name HealthQuote.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. The other folks can probably wrest away the domain name from you, via court or an ICann proceeding. Expect them to try. Because, yes, you are infringing. A service mark is much like a trademark. No legal difference.

    You would be well to consult post haste with a TX lawyer who does TM before you get sued.

    Licensed in Maryland with offices in Maryland and Oregon. Information here is general, does not create a lawyer-client relationship, and is not a substitute for consulting with an experienced attorney on the specifics of your situation.


  2. This question shows the rose colored glasses through which pro se businesspeople often view the trademark world.

    Nice try but no cigar.

    You are likely infringing and deliberately so.

    Here's a novel idea. Why not come up with something novel and not just reverse the syllables of your competitor's name?

    Let's see, next you come up with ExpressAmerican or SAVI or CARDMASTER or COVERDIS for credit cards. What do you think will happen, how fast, how much will it cost, will you survive the battle, and who will prevail?

    I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.


  3. Usually, transposing the two main words of a trademark will not avoid a likelihood of confusion with an existing mark. The exception is when the transposed mark creates a distinctively different commercial expression from the other mark. For example, if you were to take a common collocation (groups of words that always occur in a particular order) and switch the words around, the transposed words might create a different commercial expression. Example: "Town & Country" or "Red, White, & Blue". Nobody ever says "Country & Town" or "White, Blue, & Red". That difference might get you by. However, in the example you have given, there is really no difference in commercial expression between QUOTE HEALTH and HEALTH QUOTE.


  4. My colleagues offered good advice. I would only add and to reenforce what has been suggested, that if you have not dug your heels into a mark yet start with something you can really protect and that will offer a distinctive market impression.

    QuoteHealth; HealthQuote, etc are really hyper descriptive for a company that quotes health ins. These would be considered very poor choices for such a TM and even if you are able to successfully register on the Principal Reg. they will be onerous to police to say the least and as demonstrated by your own example.

    Your best bet is to discuss with a TM lawyer in private before making the investment. I will link you to some brief general but helpful info below and most of us here, including myself, offer a free phone consult.

    Best regards,
    Frank
    Natoli-Lapin, LLC
    (see Disclaimer)

    The law firm of Natoli-Lapin, LLC (Home of Lantern Legal Services) offers our flat-rate legal services in the areas of business law and intellectual property to entrepreneurs, small-to-medium size businesses, independent inventors and artists across the nation and abroad. Feel free to call for a free phone consultation; your inquiries are always welcome: CONTACT: 866-871-8655 Support@LanternLegal.com DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed on the basis of this posting.

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