Lost Dog Cafe filed a servicemark years ago. It is "live". It was reviewed and approved by the USPTO. As anyone who's ever started a business or launched a brand knows, it's hard work. Building a distinguished company or brand is even harder. Your name is your reputation. Lost Dog's servicemark was verified with the following language, "
|Other Data||Registration limited to the area comprising the entire United States, its territories and possessions, with the exception of the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Illinois pursuant to Concurrent Use Proceeding No. 94002047. Concurrent registration with Reg. No. 2384660 and Application Serial Nos. 75644722, and 75524391, and 75524388.|
Having had too much interaction with lawyers and how they write recently, I can say that if their actual goal is not taking you to court for every last penny you have, their opening salvo is likely to be a fiery letter that's meant to make you quake in your boots.
But why would this sweet, pet-loving small business (Arlington) care or dare to threaten Shepherdtowns' Lost Dog Coffee? Well, maybe they read this article in Inc. It suggests once you establish a service or trademark there are several things you must do to keep it valid and your own. Right up front in the skimmable portion of the article it says, "The defense comes once you have begun using your trademark—and involves three strategies:
- Using your mark correctly
- Monitoring for potential infringements, and
- Cracking down on those who trespass on your trademark turf."