Hooray for the Red, White & Blue- The Importance of First to Use

In trademark law, the first user of a trademark is called the “senior user,” and has priority over any later user, called the “junior user.” This rule means that filing a trademark application, if you are the junior user, will not get your mark priority over the senior user.
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Obtaining a COLA is Not Enough to Ensure the Right to Use a Mark

Providers of goods and services often use descriptive terms, including geographic terms or place names to inform consumers about the origin, nature, or quality of their goods and services. Napa Valley is without a doubt one of the most recognized and highly regarded viticultural regions in the United States. So it is no surprise that wineries would go to great lengths to associate their wine with the Napa Valley appellation, even if their wine does not truly originate from there. Unfortunately for the Bronco Wine Company, their efforts to use the term “Napa” in their trademarks “Napa Ridge” and “Napa Creek Winery” were deemed to mislead consumers.

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