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Similar trademarks Trademark

Discussion in 'Copyright, Trademark, Patent Law' started by josh917, Jun 18, 2011.

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  1. josh917

    josh917 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I'm in the process of starting a business and choosing a company name. I'm looking at using a common word/phrase as a trademark, and I'm hoping to learn more about issues that may arise among similarly named companies.

    As a test case, I looked at the following companies, all of which offer similar services in their respective regions:
    Atlas Tutors in Ilinois (LearnWithAtlas.com)
    Atlas Tutors in Vancouver and Boston (AtlasTutors.com)
    Atlas Tutoring in California (AtlasTutoring.org)
    Atlas Test Prep in New York State and Louisiana (AtlasTestPrep.com)

    To be clear, I'm not affiliated with any of the above companies, and I am not considering "Atlas" as a name for my company. However, their situation is quite similar to mine.

    I'm hoping to find answers to the following questions:
    - Are these companies "safe" from legal issues arising from trademark law simply because they operate in different regions?
    - Could these companies run into significant problems in the future because of trademark issues?
    - What would happen if one of these companies began offering services in another's region?
    - If trademark conflict arose, what would take precedence-- the age of the company, whether or not one of the companies had registered the word "Atlas" with USPTO, or some other factor?
    - What if one of the companies began offering services or products from their website that could attract customers from another company's region, e.g. by opening an Amazon storefront?
    - Does the fact that multiple companies have similar names affect the situation in any way?
    - Would a distinctive logo attached to the Atlas name have any affect on the situation?

    I'd appreciate any insight. Thanks in advance!
  2. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    Hmmm... I thought I answered this post. Yes, there can be difficulty in trying to establish a trademark for the name nationally since it is clear that many companies are operating regionally/locally using a similar if not virtually the same name.

    My thought is that if you want to establish yourself - not just from a legal but also from a business marketing perspective - you'd best be served by choosing another name to distinguish your company from theirs. Considering the confusion with email too, it's wise to find another name and make the best of it. The same "benefits" of some potential name recognition also are detriments when trying to expand such a business. Best of luck with your endeavor.

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