Someone just contacted me letting me know, informally, that a phrase I'm using in my new blog's tagline has been trademarked by them "for use on the Web, books, pamphlets, and online stores." They have asked me (nicely) to please not use it.
I've checked, and there is indeed a record of the trademark registration
. The thing is, we are in two different countries, though our sites use the same language (English.) I'm skeptical of whether or not my use (as a tagline for a blog from which I am currently not making any money, not capitalized, and not the main title of any product or service) actually infringes on their trademark.
I don't want to be rude to the person. If the trademark applies to me, I'll definitely change the phrase. But I'd prefer, obviously, to not change it, since it is a very important concept to what I'm writing about. And, frankly, it's a really common term. In the past, the same phrase has been used by (rather high-profile) others
in the same field.
I do have access to free legal services, if necessary. But I'd like a little informal advice on how all this works. Does my use likely infringe? Should I change it immediately, or would it be worthwhile to hold out?
It is possible I will use my website commercially in the future, if that makes any difference. But for now, I'm not.