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What should I do with my business name.

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ukyo5813

Junior Member
What is the name of your state?Oregon
I am starting an online wine retail business called "Mak Wine Company". I have registered in state of Oregon and summitted all application(s) and or permit required under "Mak WIne Company". Also reserved domain address www.makwine.com.
However, I recently found out there is "Mak Winery" in Australia producing wines labled as "Mak". Their wines are widely distributed in USA. Even, my distributor carries their wines.

Would I be able to operate my online wine retail (without getting sued) with business name and domain address unchanged?

thanks
 


divgradcurl

Senior Member
ukyo5813 said:
What is the name of your state?Oregon
I am starting an online wine retail business called "Mak Wine Company". I have registered in state of Oregon and summitted all application(s) and or permit required under "Mak WIne Company". Also reserved domain address www.makwine.com.
However, I recently found out there is "Mak Winery" in Australia producing wines labled as "Mak". Their wines are widely distributed in USA. Even, my distributor carries their wines.

Would I be able to operate my online wine retail (without getting sued) with business name and domain address unchanged?

thanks
If Mak Winery wants to enforce any trademark rights against you, they will have to do it in the U.S. Check www.uspto.gov to see if Mak Winery has registered a trademark in the U.S.; if they don't, it means that the most they could assert against you (if anything) would be common-law trademark rights, and unless Mak had an actual presence in the U.S., it would seem unlikely (but certainly not impossible) that they would come to the U.S. to assert their trademark rights against you.

You might want to do some research to see if Mak has registered a mark in the U.S., and if Mak has any subsidiaries or offices in the U.S. (not just partners, but actual offices located in the U.S. -- it would be easier to sue you if they had a presence on the ground here). If their is no registered mark, you may want to consider registering your mark with the USPTO.

To answer your one question, the only way to avoid getting sued is to change your name to something that doesn't sound like anyone else's name. But if they don't have a registered mark in the U.S., and no U.S. presence, then it would appear unlikely that they would try and sue you. Doesn't mean that they won't, just that it seems unlikely.
 

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