I’m launching a business and want to include my city’s name into it. Because I live in a tiny town, there aren’t many other businesses with the same name as mine. What about trademarking, though? Can I use anything that isn’t registered as a trademark? Will the USPTO approve my trademark application ?
I’d like to open a company in my hometown, but I’m not sure whether I can.
A city name can be legitimately used in a brand name as long as it does not suggest any affiliation with the local administration. For example, “The New York Times” is OK since it is an independent business that does not indicate ownership or affiliation with New York City.
However, if you sell items that refers to a specific city and conduct business within its limits, you must obtain authorization from the local government. For example, if you wish to sell t-shirts with the words “Boston Rocks!” on them while residing in Boston, you must first obtain permission from the mayor or other municipal officials.
The use of a city name as part of a corporate brand is lawful or illegal depending on the circumstances. A company can use a city name as part of its brand for marketing purposes, but if the company uses the city name to indicate that it has some relationship with the local government, it may be breaching trademark regulations.
Trademarks are used to prevent others, especially rivals and imitators, from copying the distinctive qualities of individual firms and goods. This implies that you cannot use another company’s trademarks without their permission—and they have legal rights to such trademarks as well as responsibilities for defending them against infringement.
In addition to trademark protection, there are restrictions governing what you are and are not permitted to say about yourself while dealing with cities or other municipal bodies.
The existence of another business with the same or a similar name does not exclude you from using the name.
A city name can be used in your brand name for marketing purposes as long as it does not indicate a relationship with the municipal administration. If you own an independent coffee business with outlets in Baltimore, Maryland and Boston, Massachusetts, you might name yourself “Baltimore Coffee Company” and “Boston Coffee Company.” You would need to incorporate the term “Company” to let people know that they have no links to any of these cities. If, on the other hand, someone said, “I’m going to have some coffee at Baltimore Coffee Company.
Then this would be deceptive since it indicates a relationship between your company and the Baltimore City Government. To avoid confusion about what kinds of products or services you do (or don’t) offer within this city limits territory, where most people want quick answers without having to read through pages of legalese disclaimers first thing before making online purchases, consider using something like “Coffee Shop Based Out Of Baltimore” instead; which could also work well if somebody asks where their favourite store is located – just point those locations out by saying something like: Well, I’m sure my friend who owns one in Fells Point would appreciate all of these fantastic tips!”
Also, just because someone begins out calling themselves something doesn’t imply they’ve always matched the qualifications required throughout their life – especially because certain things change, such as regulations governing firms operating in specific regions (ie: New York City). So, remember: don’t take any chances until absolutely essential while considering whether or not something has to be changed after consulting with specialists first!
If someone else has the same or a similar name, the USPTO may reject your US trademark application unless.
The USPTO requires you to demonstrate that your business name is distinctive, not infringing on another’s trademark, not confusingly similar to another’s trademark, not misleading, scandalous, or immoral, and does not denigrate someone else or their goods. If another person has the same or a similar name, the USPTO may reject your application unless you have a compelling cause to use that name.
Some firms incorporate their city names in their business names because they feel it offers them an advantage over other businesses in their cities that offer comparable products or services. However, this is false advertising because consumers may believe that your company offers something that it does not because of its location within the city limits where your business operates from, when really all they need is something simple such as “in town” or “nearby” in order for people who are looking for services nearby where they live to feel secure enough just knowing where they live w
If you wish to utilise a city name as part of your business name and already have a presence in that location, you can do so even if someone else has previously done so. However, if you live outside of the city and have commercial interests there, you must file a USPTO trademark application.
City names cannot be trademarked (though certain cities, such as New York City, have successfully trademarked their names). In your brand name, you may use any common or descriptive term or phrase as long as it does not indicate a relationship with the local government. For example, if your firm makes organic soap and sells it at farmer’s markets in Seattle and Portland, you can use “Seattle Soap Company” or “Portland Soap Company” in marketing materials.
To summarise, there isn’t much danger in creating a business with a city’s name as part of its name if you already have a presence in that city. If you are outside of the city and do not have authorization from local government officials to use their name, you must first file for a trademark and meet all other legal criteria.