What are my rights to a trademark name? 5 Answers as of October 22, 2013

I have been a musician for over 50 years and everyone knows me as "Space Cowboy". I have music registered with BMI, songs on CD's and other documents proving that I have been using this trademark. However, I did not register the name. Now I find that someone else registered the name for use in the same way that I have been for years. What are my rights to this trademark and can I stop them from using this name?

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Mohr Intellectual Property Law
Mohr Intellectual Property Law | Joseph Mohr
You may well have superior rights to your name based on your prior use of the name in commerce. You should speak with a trademark attorney regarding your rights and your options to enforce them, such as a Cancellation Proceeding at the USPTO.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 10/22/2013
Sebby Law Office
Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
A name cannot be trademarked. However, if over the course of years the public becomes accustomed to thinking of a particular product or service by a specific name, the name reaches trademark status. Yes, you can fight the other party's application and even registration of the name. You will need to prove that you were using the name prior to the other party and that when audience members hear the name "Space Cowboy," they think of you rather than the other guy.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 10/22/2013
Webb IP Law Group
Webb IP Law Group | Jason P Webb
You may have common law rights in the name and may be able to cancel the other person's trademark.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 10/22/2013
Mark S. Hubert PC
Mark S. Hubert PC | Mark Hubert
If what you say is true, then you may have a good case to have the later mark cancelled in a cancellation proceeding. If you want to proceed you could also make a case for damages. However i doubt if there is any confusion with the STEVE MILLER BAND.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 10/22/2013
Banner & Witcoff, Ltd. | Ernie Linek
You can pursue a trademark cancellation proceeding in the Patent and Trademark Office - based on your "prior user rights" - but it will be expensive and require the assistance of a trademark lawyer. Visit the website - www.uspto.gov - for more information. In the alternative, you could sue the other party in Federal Court for infringement of your "common law" trademark rights. Again, will be expensive and require the assistance of a trademark lawyer. The first option only takes away the trademark registration if you are successful. The second option, if you are successful, can result in both removal of the registration and an injunction against future use of the mark by the second party.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 10/22/2013
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