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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    1

    Smile Product Just Came Out with a Name Very Close to Company Name Not Yet Trademarked

    Hi, I'm just finishing up my degree and going into web development and design (read: no money). I've had in mind a company name for a while that I researched heavily and enjoy quite a bit. It was unique and not in use.

    About a month ago a new product (little known) made a ripple into the market- something similar in function to mulch or something. It has the EXACT same name, minus a space between the first word and the two letter abbreviations following. I noticed it is TM. That is incredibly frustrating since I was probably no more than three months out to trademark it.

    Basically there is a difference the "mulch" is

    [word]XY

    and my company name I want to be

    [word] XY.

    There is no trademark on the latter. Am I in the clear or is this too similar?

    Aside from the enigmatic fact that the product has absolutely nothing to do with that name (but can relate to my field), it's incredibly frustrating.

    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Product Just Came Out with a Name Very Close to Company Name Not Yet Trademarked

    Let's say you come up with a web service, we'll call it cow-poo.com, which is the greatest social networking innovation since twitter. Then somebody else comes up with a lawn fertilizing product, cowpoo. It's very unlikely that any issues of infringement would apply as the uses of the mark are entirely different - as in ABC Television vs. ABC Warehouse. Or Apple Records vs. Apple Computer (the history of litigation associated with Apple's entry into the music world aside). The devil, of course, is in the details.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Key West, FL
    Posts
    2,350

    Default Re: Product Just Came Out with a Name Very Close to Company Name Not Yet Trademarked

    In simple fact, is that trademarks are registered in different CLASSES of goods and services.

    You can have the same name unless it is a famous name which is basicly protected in all classes.

    The sticking point today is that everyone is on the internet and there are some classes of services which basicly cover the internet, so if the company with the similar name has their trademarks registered in the internet classes, then you are basicly out of luck. Before the internet this of course was not a consideration at all.

    Also, federal trademarks MUST be used in interstate commerce.

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