Conducting a Trademark Search FAQ

Should local businesses care what trademark someone else in another part of the country is using?

Short answer: Yes. Now for the long answer: After the Internet took hold in the late 1990s, the concept of location took on a whole new meaning. Instead of being rooted in physical space, businesses now jockey for location in cyberspace. Vast numbers of businesses -- even local enterprises -- have put up their own websites, creating a new potential for competition (and confusion) in the marketplace.

Because of this, every business owner must pay attention to whether a proposed trademark has already been taken by another business, regardless of that business's physical location. Even if your business sells products or services only to local customers, a competing out-of-state business (with a similar trademark) may be trying to sell products or services to your customers.

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