Can i trademark a competitors name [Beginner's Guide]

Last updated : Sept 12, 2022
Written by : Denny Dingus
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Can i trademark a competitors name

Can I use a competitor name in my ad?

Per Google guidelines, no other brands can use that name in their ad copy. An exception to this rule is if the company using it is a legitimate reseller, such as Zappos creating an ad for Nike sneakers. Pro tip: Bing also allows competitors to bid on your brand name.

What do you do with a company with a similar name?

How to Take Action. If you have determined that a confusing similarity exists and that similarity has, or is likely to cause confusion, you may seek legal action. The most common result is that a court will require one of the companies to stop using that name through an injunction.

What words Cannot be trademarked?

  • Proper names or likenesses without consent from the person.
  • Generic terms, phrases, or the like.
  • Government symbols or insignia.
  • Vulgar or disparaging words or phrases.
  • The likeness of a U.S. President, former or current.
  • Immoral, deceptive, or scandalous words or symbols.
  • Sounds or short motifs.

Can you trademark a name that is the same as someone else?

If somebody else is already using a mark that is reasonably similar to yours, it's likely that your application for trademark registration will be denied. United States trademark law requires trademarks to be entirely unique from any other than are currently in use.

Can you use a competitor's trademark in your advertising?

Under U.S. law, use of a competitor's trademark in accurate and non-deceptive comparative advertising is legal and does not constitute trademark infringement.

Can I use a trademarked name for a different product?

By law, you need not request permission to use a trademark belonging to another if it is for an editorial or informational use. Trademark law protects distinctive words, phrases, logos, symbols, slogans, and any other devices used to identify and distinguish products or services in the marketplace.

Can 2 companies have the same name?

Can Two Companies Have the Same Name? Yes, however, certain requirements must be met in order for it to not constitutes trademark infringement and to determine which party is the rightful owner of the name.

Can two companies trademark the same name?

The short answer is, “it depends.” It depends on (1) Whether the other business is in the same industry; (2) Whether the other business is in the same geographical market; (3) Who was using the mark first; and (4) Who registered the trademark first.

What are the 4 types of trademarks?

  • Generic. A generic term is a common description that does not receive trademark protection.
  • Descriptive.
  • Suggestive.
  • Arbitrary or Fanciful.

How much does it cost to trademark a word?

The basic cost to trademark a business name ranges from $225 to $600 per trademark class. This is the cost to submit your trademark application to the USPTO. The easiest and least expensive way to register your trademark is online, through the USPTO's Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS).

What is not protected by trademark?

Generic terms are not protected by trademark because they refer to a general class of products rather than indicating a unique source.

Can a company sue you for having the same name?

Trademark Registration Then, the owner can face a lawsuit for using the same name as someone else even if the second party registered a trademark for the company after the first owner created the company. These situations usually require the services of a lawyer to both understand and pursue.

How do I know if a name is already trademarked?

Before you apply, you should search the USPTO's trademark database (Trademark Electronic Search System, or TESS) to see if any trademark has already been registered or applied for that is: Similar to your trademark. Used on related products or for related services, and.

Can I trademark a phrase already used?

Trademarked phrases are only protected against the use of others in the same business class. The phrase must identify the commercial organization as the source of goods or services for the trademark. You cannot apply to trademark a phrase if the same phrase is already registered or has a pending application.

What constitutes fair use of a trademark?

In the context of trademarks, “fair use” is the term given to the use of someone else's trademark in a way that will not subject the user to liability for infringing the owner's rights. Fair use is a defense to a claim of trademark infringement.

Can you use a competitors logo?

Outside the specific arena of comparative advertising, a brand that adopts a competitor's trade mark to advertise its identical products would normally be liable for trademark infringement.

What is considered trademark infringement?

Trademark infringement is the unauthorized use of a trademark or service mark on or in connection with goods and/or services in a manner that is likely to cause confusion, deception, or mistake about the source of the goods and/or services.

Can I use Disney in my business name?

Short Answer: Yes. Disney is a famous mark meaning you are unlikely to be able to use it for any purpose, even if it is something Disney is not even remotely associated with.

What happens if someone uses my trademark?

If the person or entity receives your letter and continues to use your trademark, it's time to file a lawsuit. The suit will get filed in federal court if it spans more than one state. If the infringement is local, it may get filed in a state court.

Can I put a Nike logo on a shirt for personal use?

In fact, copyright and trademark violations can in some cases lead to criminal charges. Selling shirts with copyrighted images isn't impossible, but you should never use someone else's logos on your T-shirts or other clothing without their explicit permission.

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Can i trademark a competitors name

Comment by Shira Rene

hi i'm experienced u.s trademark attorney morris turek people ask me all the time if it's possible to trademark a product name the answer is sometimes some categories of product names are eligible for federal trademark registration with the united states patent and trademark office while others are not in general the more unique and creative your product name is the easier it will be to register it as a trademark and the greater scope of protection it will receive let's first talk about generic product names if you're looking to trademark a product name choosing a generic product name would be disastrous under the law such a name receives no protection whatsoever and is ineligible for federal trademark registration under any circumstances for example if you intend to sell t-shirts under the name shirts spelled s-h-i-r-t-z you would be unable to protect that name because it's merely the phonetic equivalent of the english language word shirts which is the generic term for your products the downside to choosing a generic name for your product is that you cannot stop your competitors from using the exact same name for their products but the good news if you can call it that is that you never have to worry about being sued for trademark infringement and you don't have to spend any money conducting a federal trademark search or obtaining a us trademark registration now let's talk about descriptive product names a descriptive product name immediately describes a feature quality or characteristic of the product a good example would be the name rapid glue for a glue that dries quickly the problem with descriptive product names is that they receive a very narrow scope of protection and are initially not entitled to federal registration on the principal register although they may be allowed on the supplemental register generally speaking a descriptive product name must be in commercial use for at least five years and have acquired distinctiveness or secondary meaning before it's eligible for registration on the principal register so while descriptive product names tend to be popular because they tell consumers something desirable about the product they aren't a particularly good choice if you want a trademark registration or want to exclude others from using a somewhat similar name for the similar type of product now let's discuss something about suggested product names a suggested product name suggests something about the product for instance the name lava for a chili sauce would be considered a suggestive product name why because lava suggests that the chili sauce is burning hot another example would be sniffles for t for tissues most product names you'll come across in your daily life fall into this category unlike descriptive product names suggestive names are eligible for federal trademark registration right off the bat and receive a relatively broad spectrum of protection suggested product names are definitely a solid choice from a trademark standpoint now let's talk about arbitrary product names if you want to trademark a product name choosing an arbitrary product name would be a good idea an arbitrary product name is one that consists of a regular english language word applied in an unfamiliar manner for example if you wanted to use the word stapler for a tennis racket that would be an arbitrary use of the word stapler because tennis rackets don't perform the ordinary functions of a stapler arbitrary product names enjoy a broad scope of protection and are able to be federally registered with the uspto finally let's discuss fanciful product names a fanciful product name is one that's completely made up and has no meaning in the english language so the name yagzet for a brand of laundry detergent or really any product would be fanciful product name because it means absolutely nothing fanciful product names are eligible for federal registration and receive the greatest amount of protection under the law again i'm experienced u.s trademark attorney morris turek if you have any questions about whether you can trademark your particular product name please don't hesitate to contact me right away for your free consultation i look forward to hearing from you soon you

Thanks for your comment Shira Rene, have a nice day.
- Denny Dingus, Staff Member

Comment by finalofantasyG

hi Andy Nelson so I was in the grocery store last week walked out put my groceries away looked over at the cart returned and I saw this sign right here so you might want to push pause for a quick second take a look at this okay so what we have here we saw a better-tasting lite beer then michelob ultra and has a picture of saint archer gold which i think is least a local california beer I'm not sure if it's everywhere else but basically it's a diet beer okay and we all know michelob ultra is also a diet beer so when I saw that it made me think about my childhood I didn't a lot of you probably saw what I saw which is something called the Pepsi challenge which is a commercial on TV and you'd see people from the street walking up and invited to try a few different colas and pick which one they liked better and then it was the Pepsi challenge so as you can imagine there was the big reveal each time and so many people are surprised they chose Pepsi over coke and of course Pepsi uses to demonstrate or at least impress upon people if they have a better taste in Cola what we know as comparative advertising and over the years I've always been asked how can I do how can they do that how can they use Coke in their commercial that sort of thing think about it you see comparative advertising all the time and why do people do it because it's freakin awesome right it's really effective if done right and in fact it would be kind of ridiculous if the rule was you could not refer to your competitors trademarks let's say a Pepsi said hey today we're gonna have you know invite a number of people off the street to try our Pepsi versus a competitor's Cola that comes in a red can with white scripted lettering we're not gonna say what it is for fear that ringgit sued but that's you know you have to kind of infer what it is but that'd be kind of stupid and really there's no rule because remember trademark laws protect consumers from confusion in the marketplace they want to know where they're getting their products and when you refer to a competitor's product accurately you're not creating confusion so so naturally there is no problem so comparative advertising use of a competitor's marks that way is fair however there are some things you want to think about while you're doing it one want to make sure you don't butcher the competitors marks in some way you know mangle them different colors or whatever you mean you just you want to use it accurately number one - if if you use in comparative advertising you're gonna be making claims about something this one is a better tasting beard now that one is what we call puffing which is kind of like I'm the best beer on the planet kind of thing I don't know if you can really reduce that to some kind of scientific method just determine whether that's true or not so that sort of thing and probably okay I'm better than they are you know that kind of because consumers don't really then expect that to be nicely necessarily provable but you say I have 20% 25% fewer calories than coca-cola or something like that you better be ready to back that up if you got called to the carpet so don't mangle the marks use them accurately and don't be deceptive in some way and I don't have a good example for that but you know don't get too cute where you you know do something deceptive which is also you know along the same lines of make sure your claims are accurate and then ultimately I talked I talked about confusion a few months ago don't do anything that would sort of cause confusion or affiliation or something that wouldn't call or cause rather consumers to believe there's a connection or an affiliation you know make it clear that your competitors right you're not coming from the same source so there's more to it than that but but I know people always have this question which is how can they do that how can they talk about someone else think about it it happens all the time another one real quick before I get you off on this video is out here I think Best Buy is a retailer that's all over the US or has been and there was also a at least one in California called Fry's and I think there are in other states as well and Fry's used to run a funny little ad years ago on the radio and he used to say your best buys are always at Fry's not exactly comparative advertising not exactly using best buys trademark because they use it in a very descriptive sense to say your best buys put on the last very close to pushing the not deceptive not really comparative advertising unless you're kind of saying you're you know we're the better buy than Best Buy's I don't know anyway I'm circling the drain on that one that's just kind of a clever advertising method that they use that wasn't quite comparative advertising but certainly push the line anyway if you have questions about this video comparative advertising use of another competitor or competitor's trademark feel free to shoot me a message I look forward to talking to you soon bye bye

Thanks finalofantasyG your participation is very much appreciated
- Denny Dingus

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