A recent search of the Trademark Office records show that the name, LITTLE HAVANA, is not registered for the purpose of Baltimore’s Iconic Restaurant. However, we did see that LITTLE HAVANA is registered for the purpose of beer. The Tank, LLC is the owner of this trademark and is a craft brewery based in South Florida. The Tank, LLC has owned this trademark since March 2016, almost 20 years after Baltimore’s Little Havana Restaurant opened its doors.
Enforcing Rights in Unregistered Trademarks
Despite not being registered with the USPTO, the owner of Little Havana Restaurant has some trademark rights. These rights are known as Common Law Trademark Rights. So, although the iconic Little Havana restaurant in Baltimore is not a federally registered trademark, the owners still can assert common law rights. This includes rights to oppose trademark applications, cancel trademark registrations, and also the ability to sue for infringement. These common law trademark right to protect unregistered brands like Baltimore’s Little Havana. View the following for a more detailed explanation of Common Law Trademark Rights.
Even without a trademark registration, the restaurant thrives in the city of Baltimore all while maintaining its trusted brand identity. This is common with many restaurants and businesses, as they have not registered their names with the Trademark Office. In the end, owning a federal trademark registration allows a business to solidify its ownership rights nationwide – and obtain the additional rights associated with a registered trademark.
Little Havana Restaurant Trademark Benefits
A registered trademark provides nationwide rights, and is presumed valid by courts. In addition, a registered trademark will block any future trademark applications. After five years of registration, the owner may file a Section 8&15 Declaration to have the registration deemed legally incontestable. A registered trademark also gives credibility to e-commerce providers such as Amazon, which is something that has been very important in recent years. Finally, a registered trademark provides a basis for Foreign Trademark applications and is used to prevent importation of unauthorized goods. Visit our post about the Benefits of a Trademark Registration for a more detailed explanation.