Legal Question in Entertainment Law in Connecticut

Service Marks

My teenage sons are in a band and were thinking about getting a service mark for their name. When is the right time to do this, approximately how much does it cost? I did an online search of the name of the band and only came up with a board game or parlor game with the same name. Would that be a problem for them? Please give us any advice on this situation. Thank you.

Asked on 8/16/03, 11:17 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Lawrence Graves Coolidge & Graves PLLC
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Re: Service Marks

To do it right costs roughly $1,500 including search and filing fees. Some companies will do it for less, mostly by omitting the trademark clearance search (relying on a do-it-yourself search).

As to your own initial search results, the board game trademark could be an issue if the owner wants to create one. While never a guaranteed predictor of future conduct, the search results from Thomson & Thomson include any history of opposition proceedings initiated by owners of like trademarks -- this is one reason that I use their searches. For example, if anyone applies for a trademark in any class of goods or services that includes the word "Maxximum" (with two x's), I would virtually guarantee that the T.J.Maxx company would file an opposition with the USPTO, since they have filed about a hundred such actions in the past. For a small-company applicant, this is the kiss of death, as it costs a lot of money to fight the opposition action, so faced with such likelihood I would advise using a different trademark.

Hope this helps, best wishes,

LDWG

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Answered on 8/16/03, 11:30 am

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