Someone trademarked a name I used first
I help so many people develop amazing businesses and the last thing they think about is protecting their name. I get it. Often I meet people that have been in business for awhile and STILL aren’t concerned about it. They get real concerned about it- to the point of tears-
Gather Proof That You Used It In Commerce FirstIf you were the first person to use the name in commerce before the someone trademarked the name, you can have their trademark canceled.
So, what does "use in commerce" mean? Briefly it means a) when the name is placed on the goods, labels, tags, etc ; b) the goods are sold or transported in commerce; c) on services, when the name is displayed in the sale or advertising of services.
One may feel intimated upon receipt of a demand to stop using the name because it has been registered by another person. However, knowing your rights and having the proof of when you began using it in commerce, can help in your fight for your name.
Seek Cancelation of the MarkOne may feel intimated upon receipt of a demand to stop using the name because it has been registered by another person. However, knowing your rights and having the proof of when you began using it in commerce, can help in your fight for your name.
Although it may not be hard to prove, it is a headache to present everything and seek cancelation of the other person's trademark so that you can then seek registration. A request to cancel the existing trademark can be done TTAB (Trademark Trial and Appeal Board). A headache that can be avoided. My advice is to just handle this before it can ever become an issue. Seek trademark registration early on in your venture. In today's social media age, when someone sees a name that they like, unfortunately they "take" it. They will bully the real owner, ignore all requests to stop and even offer to sell it back to the real owner.
Treat your business like a REAL business. Handle your intellectual property/ brand ownership before someone mishandles you!