Can we Trademark/Servicemark
My organization will be involved in co-hosting a model rocket launch with another group that is not incorporated nor a partnership, but is really a ''model rocket club''.They are a charted section of a national non-profit association. They claim their club has a TM on the name of the event. Can they common law trademark the event name - or anything for that matter since they do not appear to be a legal entity on their own? May the national assoc. trademark the name? In either case would the use of SM be more appropriate since this event is a recreational service? Could my organization be liable if they claim a trademark?
1 Answer from Attorneys
Re: Can we Trademark/Servicemark
The designation TM is used for goods while SM is used for services. So, if the trademark identifies the event, you are correct that the SM would be the more appropriate designation.
Before a trademark is used (whether or not it will be registered), it must be searched to insure that the mark does not belong to a 3d party w/ suprior rights to that mark. If it turns out that the Rocket Club does indeed have suprior rights to the trademark in question, then any other party using that mark will be infringing upon the Rocket Club's mark.
As long as the Rocket Club is a legal entity, it has the right to own and register the trademark. Any individual or corporation or partnership or other type of legal entity may own and/or apply to register a trademark.
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