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Defensible Brand Names Using Trademarks at Product Camp DFW

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Dallas Intellectual Property Attorney presented on creating and maintaining a defensible brand name in the early stage of the product life cycle.

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Defensible Brand Names Using Trademarks at Product Camp DFW

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  2. 2. Creating Defensible Brand Names <ul><li>John Lindsay </li></ul><ul><li>Intellectual Property Attorney </li></ul><ul><li>214-736-4306 </li></ul><ul><li>www.StartupIPServices.com </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Questions: If it's on topic, ask, otherwise, please save for Q&A. </li></ul><ul><li>Disclaimer: The information presented here is general in nature, and should not be construed as legal advice. Consult an attorney for advice on your particular facts and issue. </li></ul><ul><li>Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License </li></ul>
  3. 3. Defensible Brand Names – Why? <ul><li>Unique identity for a specific product </li></ul><ul><li>Distinguish from other products </li></ul><ul><li>Capture brand equity </li></ul><ul><li>Supplement to marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Value </li></ul>
  4. 4. Defensible Brand Names – Common Issues <ul><li>Trademarks – legally defensible brand names </li></ul><ul><li>Top ways to “lose” a brand name </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Another party has prior rights to the brand name </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The brand name is not distinctive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The brand name has not been used in commerce </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The brand name has been abandoned </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Defensible Brand Names – Prior Rights <ul><li>Prior user has rights to a brand name such that there is not a likelihood of confusion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dominant factors for likelihood of confusion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Similarity of name </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid (eg Apple Technology, The Twitter, SubStay, MicDonalds) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Similarity of goods/services </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Solution – Search (local, regional, national, international, industry) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Defensible Brand Names – Distinctiveness <ul><li>Distinctiveness – Can one deduce the product or service or relevant characteristics from the name? </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid descriptive or generic terms (eg High Speed Computers, Great Widgets, App Store, Footlong) </li></ul><ul><li>Solutions – Choose “coined” names (Xerox), suggestive names (Bronze, Restulex), or mix (Xerox copiers) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Defensible Brand Names – Acquiring Rights <ul><li>To establish rights, one must </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Be the first user of a name (United States allows limited reservation of names) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In commerce </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In connection with products or services </li></ul></ul><ul><li>No rights acquired by merely incorporating, forming an LLC, filing an assumed name certificate, registering a domain name </li></ul>
  8. 8. Defensible Brand Names – Use It or Lose It <ul><li>The brand owner must maintain use to maintain rights </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rights can become cloudy after ~ three years </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The brand owner should monitor for others usage of the name or similar names </li></ul><ul><li>Possible solutions: Monitoring, Google Alerts </li></ul>
  9. 9. Creating Defensible Brand Names <ul><li>John Lindsay </li></ul><ul><li>Intellectual Property Attorney </li></ul><ul><li>214-736-4306 </li></ul><ul><li>Questions?????????????? </li></ul><ul><li>www.StartupIPServices.com </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Disclaimer: The information presented here is general in nature, and should not be construed as legal advice. Consult an attorney for advice on your particular facts and issue. </li></ul><ul><li>Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License </li></ul>
  10. 10. THANK YOU

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