Did you know that your trademark does not give you an absolute monopoly over all products and services? The truth is that your trademark only provides protection for specific products or services that the owner offers to consumers. That is to say; you cannot use your trademark to monopolize all products and services. For instance, Apple Inc., despite the fact that they are the trademark owner of Apple, has no control over how the word Apple is used. The trademark only gives the company the right to stop or prevent others from using Apple with regards to computers and software, and Apple Inc. cannot stop others from using Apple for in connection with apples, foods, apparels, etc.
It is essential for you to establish a proper connection between your products and services and your trademark. In other words, you must ensure that your trademark covers all the products and services you offer.
If you feel another company’s trademark will be preventing you from providing your products and services under a particular design or name, you need to check the products and services that such trademark is registered for or those it covers. For instance, if a company has registered a trademark for restaurant services, and your business offers health and wellness products, you are free to run your health and wellness products using the same trademark without having any problem. That is because restaurant and health/wellness are different from each other.
It is worth mentioning that the word “Using” in trademark law is substantially different from the normal word “Using.” Concerning products, a trademark is only used if the consumers of the products are aware of the trademark when getting the products, or if it is placed on the products or their packaging labels. Regarding services, a trademark is only used if it is displayed or used in the advertising or performance of the services.
Advertising a specific product without featuring its trademark is inadequate to establish that the trademark is used. On the other hand, advertising service and featuring its trademark is adequate to determine that the trademark is used.
That a trademark is mentioned in an online or web article doesn’t establish the use of a trademark, except the trademark registration Canada for writing web articles or related services. If the domain name of a smartphone blog includes iPhone, except the blog has been authorized, it establishes the use of the iPhone trademark.
Therefore, you should be aware that your trademark(s) is limited by the products and services that they are registered or used for. Additionally, it is not everywhere that your trademark is mentioned that establishes its use. So get your facts right before taking legal actions.