question.jpgIn Trademarks

How can I use someone else’s trademark?

If someone else owns rights in a trademark that you would like to use, you have a few basic options. First, you can attempt to buy that trademark and its rights from the owner, paying a fee to have the trademark assigned to you. Second, you can attempt to license the trademark, paying for the right to use the mark in a way determined by you and the trademark’s owner.

In addition, you may be able to enter into a “consent to use agreement.” These typically arise where both parties have rights in similar marks and/or where the parties do not want to expend the time and cost associated with trademark litigation to determine who has proper rights in a trademark. So the parties will instead enter into a consent to use agreement, where each party agrees that the other can use their mark and that neither side will sue the other for trademark infringement.

Finally, if the trademark is federally registered and you believe that the registered owner is no longer using the mark (or that the mark does not actually qualify for registration), you can initiate a cancellation proceeding to try to have the trademark registration canceled.