I ❤️ Trademarks

Image for Reg. 3097782

The New York State Department of Economic Development owns 13 live registrations for I ❤️ NY in a variety of colors and orientations and for a bunch of different services and goods, including promoting tourism and a slew of swag.

The NYDED first used the mark in 1977.

Is it OK for someone to use I ❤️ BURLESQUE?

The answer to that question explains why I can’t know whether a trademark’s available without doing a comprehensive search. I can guess, but my guess isn’t always right.

Before digging into the Trademark Office database, I thought: The NYDED’s trademark is famous so anyone using something similar for any goods or services is going to be in a world of hurt.

Image for Reg 6390592

When I started digging, I was surprised to find there are lots of other registrations using the same design with the same color, orientation and font.

For example, there’s this trademark, which was registered in 2021 for T-shirts and other swag. The Trademark Office didn’t refuse to register this trademark and, even more surprisingly, the NYDED didn’t try to oppose it.

Based on that, I’d guess the I ❤️ ____________ motif is fair game as long as what’s in the blank isn’t already being used by someone else.

But, of course, I’d have to check the specific use for the specific goods just before filing, because it’s easy to be wrong when I guess.

Thanks for another great question from Cassandra G.

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