Things every client should know about trademarks
Didn’t the Secretary of State tell us we already own our trademark?
Actually, he probably didn’t.
Many times, unfortunately, when startup companies adopt a new name, they don’t consult a trademark attorney about the name they’re planning on adopting. Instead, they choose a name, use it in preparing the Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws, and confer with the Secretary of State’s Office to ensure that the Office has no objection to the use of the name.
The Secretary of State’s review of the company name is not a trademark search or trademark clearance.
Rather, it is simply a statement that the Secretary of State sees no conflicting company names in its own records, so that its corporate and tax records should be free from confusion.
If your company has made the same mistake, don’t despair. You’re in good company. Many, many businesses, including large, well-established corporations with experience launching startup subsidiaries, make the same mistake. Talk to your trademark attorney as soon as possible, and the two of you can proceed to develop a plan to protect your marks.
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