By Shaun Murphy
Can two different companies hold the same trademark name if they provide different services or products?
The brief answer is, sometimes. Trademark registration/ infringement disputes revolve around the possibility that differing services or brands can be confused for each other.
This likelihood is assessed using five important factors:
1) How strong is the registered trademark?
2) How similar are the plaintiff’s already registered trademark and the mark that they are disputing?
3) Is there any proof that consumers are already being confused by the similarities?
4) What is the proximity of the goods and services being offered by both the plaintiff and defendant in the marketplace?
5) What type of marketing channels the plaintiff and defendant use. Similar marketing channels might increase the chance that customers can confuse the brand names.
Other factors may affect the case as well. It usually takes several of these elements to prove that a trademark has been infringed, leaving room for a great deal of uncertainty in these types of legal battles. For instance, if there is a dispute between Coachella Valley mergers and acquisitions firms with a similar name, they may be required to prove several of these points before they could successfully prove trademark infringement.
Trademarks are often limited to the geographic locations of their markets. It is important to consider where their products and services are distributed and whether they are nationally known or famous. If the products and services of the plaintiff and defendant are sufficiently disparate and are separated by sufficient geographic distances, small differences in the trademarks may be enough to permit that both be used at the same time.
Contact our Coachella Valley Business Transaction Law Firm
Companies often enter into a use agreement that allows both to use the trademarks with sufficient limitations on use. For example, both companies may agree that they will not sell products and services in certain circumstances or geographic regions. If you need help with your business transaction, concerning licensing and intellectual property rights and commercial contracts, contact our Coachella Valley business transaction law firm at 760-322-2275.