Three years ago, my small team and I created a product that we've been selling ever since. To clarify that I meant to use the name as a trademark, I added the trademark symbol (™) after the product name anywhere we used it.
The product is in French only (for now), but sold worldwide (it teaches English.) Even though we're small, the name is fairly specific and we're the #1 result on Google for the name, in various languages.
I didn't bother with registering a trademark earlier, because creating and supporting a product is enough work as it is and, at the time, it was a lot of money that we needed to use elsewhere.
Today, I found out someone is trying to register our name as a trademark in the U.S. It's unclear to me whether that person is acting in good faith (or acting as a trademark troll.)
At the least, they were too lazy to check whether the name was in use or, if they did, just didn't care that we did use it.
The registrant is not using the name anywhere online. The Intent to Use in their application is Section 1(b): "The applicant has a bona fide intention, and is entitled, to use the mark in commerce on or in connection with the identified goods/services". They're filing for standard characters, in the same identification category that could describe our product.
…but this did not answer all of my questions.
- The docs say I have 30 days to oppose after the date of the publication in the Official Gazette (OG). Given it takes roughly three month between filing and publication, this would mean another two months to wait:
- Can I oppose before publication in the OG?
- Is there anything I can do before that?
- Should I try to file for registration in the U.S. simultaneously? Their "filing basis" is Section 1(b) (intent) while I can file for Section 1(a) (current use).
- Once we oppose, do we have good chance of winning? How can I improve our odds?
- If my opposition is rejected and their trademark registration is successful, has the registrant any chance to enforce the trademark in court against us?