FAQ About Brands and Trademarks

Findownersearch's owners and executives have more than 30 years experience in creating and delivering intellectual property information (including Trademark, Brand and Patent information) via searchable databases.

Therefore, we believe that the questions and answers below are accurate. However, we are not lawyers and do not give legal advice or opinions. Accordingly, for more detailed answers to your questions, you should always consult a lawyer experienced in trademark, copyright or patent law before any business decision is made.

We can refer you to attorneys in your geographic area if requested.


Q. As an owner, do I need a federal trademark to protect my product or service against another organization using the same name for a similar product or service?

To offer a product or service in the USA, the strongest form of protection is a federal trademark. However, there are other ways to protect your brand name that can be less expensive. If you have offered your brand first in a particular geographic region for a period of time, then you already have some protection in that area. Your brand name can also be protected in any state you offer your brand by obtaining a state trademark.

Q. How long does a federal USA trademark last?

Federal trademarks can last forever as long as the product or service remains in commerce in its category and is properly renewed (including payment of fees) every 10 years.

Q. What are some of the reasons a Trademark (state, federal or foreign) might be wise to obtain?

There are many good reasons why obtaining a trademark for the geographic location you plan to operate in (state, federal, foreign) is worth the cost. Here are a few (there are many others):

  1. The date you file provides documentation that prevents others from obtaining protection for names they begin to use after that “priority” date.
  2. The region you are trademarked in (State, Federal or foreign) will likely allow you (as the federal trademark does for the USA) to file suit in court for trademark infringement. In federal trademark cases, you can recover significantly more in $ for the infringement and legal fees than if you do not have a registered trademark.
  3. In the USA and other geographies, products that infringe on your trademark can be stopped from being imported into your trademark-protected region.

Q. If my brand name gets a registered USA trademark, can I prevent anyone else from having that brand name in the USA?

Trademarks are for brand names associated with particular goods or services. You can have many goods and services associated with your brand name - but all must be shown to be actively offered in commerce and actively registered. So, those are the only goods and services that will be protected.

That is why a brand like Mustang can be both a car brand (owned by Ford Motor Company) and a grass seed (owned by Domestic Seed and Supply Inc.)

Please keep in mind if you are trying to name a new product or service for your business, that is similar to the name of a brand you find by using our directory service, then you should be sure that ALL of the following apply before you consult a trademark professional about obtaining the name for your product or service:

  1. The words should be significantly different. Elementry, Elementary, and Elemintarry,which are different spelling of the same words are not different enough.
  2. The words should not mean the same or similar things. The brand name “wet days” would probably be considered too similar to “rainy days” to obtain a valid trademark for the same Goods and Services.
  3. The words should not sound the same, even if they have different meanings. The brand names “effect” and “affect” or “aid” and “Aide” could also be considered too close to allow both to have the same goods and services.