Trademarking a name has requirements, but most people are unaware. Reading case law probably isn’t high on your priority list, but it is still very important that you be aware of current laws that affect how you use your trademark. I’ll provide a simple understanding of the most recent decision on using your trademark “in commerce.”

In the case of Christian Faith Fellowship Church v. adidas AG, No. 2016-1296, the Church had sold hats and apparel with the name “Add A Zero”. The Church successfully trademarked that name too. After a couple of months adidas tried to register “ADIZERO,” but was denied based on the likelihood of confusion with the Church’s trademarked name of “Add A Zero”. Adidas argued that the Church had not used its trademarked name in commerce because they only had one single sale. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board agreed with adidas, but the Federal Circuit did not. A single sale was enough to bring it under the Commerce Clause and the Lanham Act. The effect of a single transaction still has an aggregate effect on commerce.

So one single sale is enough to be “in commerce” you ask? Although the Federal Circuit did not define “in commerce” as a single transaction as the minimum standard it does seem to be enough for this case.

How many transactions has your trademarked business name had?