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® Symbol used Accidentally ! Help!!

Discussion in 'Copyright, Trademark, Patent Law' started by diad, Apr 8, 2004.

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  1. diad

    diad Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Our graphic designer used the registered trademark symbol on our logo and the printer published it all over our product that went out to 3000 customers. Are we going to get in trouble? I hear it's a federal offense. But I've searched and nobody else seems to have tried to register our particular phrase.

    I dont' know what to do! what is the worst thing that can happen?:confused:
     
  2. RaisetheBar

    RaisetheBar New Member

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    Okay first, yes it is a federal offense, technically speaking. Not many cases have come to court on this issue. Probably the most that can happen is that you will lose your trademark.

    Oh but you say that you didnt have a trademark in the first place, you just marked it as such. This could actually be a bigger problem.

    Are you making an effort to inform the customers that you dont have an R? That is the first thing you should do. You dont have to take the products back, just send out notices telling people that this mark has not yet been registered w the US TM office.

    You do intend to do this right? I think if you make a good faith effort to explain what happened then you will be okay.

    You are going to file for a TM yes? The cost is not much and well worth it if the name means anything to you. You could file it yourself for $335.
     
  3. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    I wouldn't worry about it just yet. Why not apply for the mark? Given the cost and importance to your company, it's worth a few hundred dollars to do so and you'll avoid the isue as well.

     
  4. diad

    diad Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks. Well the reason we didn't apply for the R yet is because they need to see that you have used your mark in commerce already and that you intend to. This puts me in a catch 22 because the only evidence that we intend to use the mark is on things that all have an R on them! how dumb! We were thinking of just re-issuing new products that have the revision and hope nobody noticed. By the time we get the mark it may not matter anyway. Of course, this will only work if we aren't contested in any way and I would figure the USPTO may come across our OWN usage and try to hold it against us. Or at least they would find out what we'd done when we applied. :rolleyes:
     
  5. RaisetheBar

    RaisetheBar New Member

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    Re print the labels with the correct TM symbol and then file for the mark.

    Technically you dont have to have a first use before you file, you can do an "intent to use" but in your situation I would not do that, simply claim an actual use, reprint the labels w/ correct TM symbol and file.

    Also please send notices to those people who already received products that the mark is not yet registered. These are grey situations and the courts have been willing to be lenient if you make an effort to correct this.
     

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