Multi-Country Legal Issue

Lately we’ve had to contemplate some of our policies to address turf war complaints as they come in.

Example: An England firm claims in an article that they have the original registered trademark on a certain name brand, unlike their copycats in Spain who also complain and claim that they have the original trademark of the same brand… only for us to research and find out two USA companies also have an identical legitimate registered trademark on the same brand name.

Who’s right?

A) The firm from England with the registered trademark.
B) The firm from Spain with the registered trademark.
C) The two firms from the USA with the registered trademark.



Rozey Gean writes:


Has any of the parties involved, issued proof of ownership to you?

On the other hand…

Since a Trademark can be a word, symbol, design or phrase (or a combination of all of them), and a dispute arises regarding ownership – shouldn’t the US Patent and Trademark Office be able to detail who the rightful owner is?

Needless to say, each application has a date affixed to it as well. I’m sure if there is a dispute over the same name, the application itself would be able to pinpoint who processed the Trademark first.

If this were me, I’d be looking for answers at the doorstep of the US Patent and Trademark Office. After all, they’re the entity accepting and processing the Trademark applications.

Let me know how this pans out for you.


Comment provided November 4, 2005 at 8:13 AM


Sallie Goetsch writes:

Trademarks come in state, national, and international flavors. In all cases, it is the responsibility of the trademark owner to protect the mark and to contact infringing parties directly with Cease and Desist notices. A TM only protects you for the area in which you registered it.

Anyone believing his or her TM to have been infringed can look in the appropriate online database: the USPTO for US Trademarks (, the UK database (, or the Madrid Express Database for international TMs (

In no case is it the responsibility of to police trademark usages.

You might, however, want to consult your attorney and make sure that your author agreement includes some kind of statement to that effect.

Comment provided November 4, 2005 at 5:00 PM


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