Are they infringing on my copyright/trademark?

Posted by Michael Shimokaji | Jul 15, 2014 | 0 Comments

Question: Are they infringing on my copyright/trademark?

 I started a dog training company in August 2011. I created the tagline, “We Speak Dog.” Two weeks ago, a show premiered on CBS about a dog trainer who is using the tagline, “I Speak Dog.”

 Is this an infringement on my company?

Answer: Whether there is infringement depends on who first used the tagline. Simply because you saw “I Speak Dog” on TV after you used your tagline does not necessarily mean that you first used the tagline. In other words, the owner of “I Speak Dog” could have been using the tagline long before you first started using your tagline, but you were just unaware of the prior use.

 Another factor to take into account for infringement is the difference, if any, between the geographical regions in which the two of your compete.

About the Author

Michael Shimokaji

Michael’s expertise includes the strategic development of patent and trademark portfolios. He identifies those patents and trademarks that are valuable to his clients by providing them with a competitive advantage. Then, Michael obtains patent and trademark registrations in the US and abroad.

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