Question: We applied for a trademark a few years back on the name Samurai Precision Burs. We got it – but did not know that another form had to be filed saying that we were actually using the name. Another company took our name – because we did not file the additional paperwork. Upon perusing their website – we noticed that they are using our artwork as well…..without permission. By this I mean – instead of an actual picture of the “Samurai Precision Bur” we used a graphical representation of the bur. On the representation it had “SP-48”. This has nothing to do with the trademark….it was my husbands initials and his age at the time. We had a person design this for us. Also the way the name was laid out – was designed by me. They are using this as well. Is this legal? If not what should be done. Thank you in advance for your kind assistance with this matter.
ANSWER: Trademark rights belong to the first user of the trademark. A trademark registration is not necessary to have trademark rights. You may also have rights to copyright, even though you did not register the copyright. Sending at least a cease and desist letter may be appropriate.