I registered an LLC about 2 years ago here in South Carolina. My company is in the service category (like a plumber, carpenter, etc). I trademarked the phrase which is the name of my company at that time. I trademarked my logo which I had uniquely designed by a graphic artist.
Today I was asked if I would mind if another company in another state used my logo and my name. I said no, it's trademarked. They said "it's not like its mcdonalds, this is crazy"...but we will honor your trademark and not use it.
Eerily coincidentally, another company in another state contacted me today (I think these two guys must be buddies or something) asking me the same question - to which I replied, no, you can't use my trademarked items.
So I get to searching - deep - to see what other companies in the USA have the same name as mine and how old they are. I found 2 or 3 in states far away from me that have the same name as mine...4 word phrase.
One of the companies was involuntarily dissolved many years ago, so I'm not worried about them. But the others look viable, in business, and as if they are actively using the name which matches mine.
Can I go around telling people not to use "my" name if some sleeping dog of a company out there has been making use of "my" name way before me? What are the chances of a jealous, would be trademark user in the future contacting one of these sleeping dog companies and stirring the pot, pointing the finger at me as the trademark infringer (over their common law tm).
Can I prevail and once and for all own what, up until today, I thought was MY Business Name lock stock and barrel or should I let these sleeping dogs lie - and hope they don't wake up?
thanks in advance, sorry not so concise,