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Question: Business name protection

A business name I want to use is currently not trademarked by anyone, not registered with the Secretary of state as an LLC, or Corp, not anyone’s DBA. No one is using it. BUT, someone does have it registered as a .com on the internet. Note however that when you type this name (for example) http://www.widgets.com it actually brings you to another site on the internet with a completely different url name that is owned by this same person. So would I be able to trademark the name I want under these conditions and then tell this person to stop using the .com use of it?

Thank you for your help.

Answer: Trademark rights can exist, notwithstanding the absence of trademark registration or LLC/Corp registration with a Secretary of State. The same holds true of domain registration.

Therefore, the person you plan on stopping may still have trademark rights superior to yours.

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