The territorial extent of trade marks


Often a company develops a brand and secures trade mark protection only to later receive notice from an entity claiming ownership of an identical mark in a limited geographical location. The question is then how the presumptive rights of nationwide exclusivity conferred on the owner of a US trade mark registration interact with the prior non-registered common law rights of a third party in a limited area.

The fact that a party has obtained a federal trade mark registration does not automatically eliminate another party's prior non-registered, common law rights. The party that was first to adopt the mark...


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