• August 30, 2018
  • Brent Sausser
  • 0

Food Truck Trademark

Food truck names can be quite competitive. On top of that they are typically limited to a local area, unless you’re competing on The Great Food Truck Race. However, just because you’re a local food truck does NOT mean you do not qualify for a U.S. trademark. In fact, the best way to ensure your food truck trademark is protected in the U.S. is via a U.S. trademark registration.

Food Truck Trademark Based on My Use

 

Food Truck TrademarkA lot of food truck owners believe that they are protected simply because they use the name in commerce –> first to use, first to own.  While this is technically true, you have a few issues:

  1. Even though you were the first to use the name, without a US trademark registration, someone could prevent you from expanding.
    • Common law rights (first use trademark rights) give you the right to use the name in the geographic area in which you conduct business. Want to expand? You may not be able to if someone has the U.S. trademark registration.
  2. Are you sure you were the first to use the name?
    • Just because you can’t find HOTWHEELS FOOD TRUCK on Google doesn’t mean you were the first to use it. There very well could be a HOTWHEELS FOOD TRUCK NEW YORK, which you were unaware about who has prior rights that could challenge your rights to your name, or get you to cease use of your name. That’s right…..change your website, change your truck wrap, change your advertising, change your image.
    • If you used a name already registered you are now open to legal consequences. If you’ve caused actual confusion the registration owner can sue you for actual damages. Did you know they existed? This could be intentional infringement leading to three times actual damages.

U.S. Trademark Registration Benefits

A U.S. trademark registration can provide numerous benefits. One of the most important aspects for a food truck is that you don’t have to worry that you’re infringing on another competitor, and that you have nationwide rights to your name.

  • Peace of mind. Don’t worry about being told you can’t use your name. You own nationwide rights to the name.
  • You can prevent other confusingly similar uses nationwide, by citing your U.S. registration.
  • It is the only type of intellectual property you can own that doesn’t have an expiration. As long as you use it, and submit the renewal documents, which are not due that often, you can maintain the rights to the trademark indefinitely.
  • Own your name. Changing your name would be a pain. Owning a U.S. registration shows others that you are the owner of the mark nationwide and any confusingly similar applications filed with the USPTO are automatically rejected based on your prior ownership.

If looking for protection of your food truck trademark we can help

Our firm makes trademark registration as simple as possible. Please find our form for our trademark registration below.