Scenario: you’ve brainstormed with a core group of confidants and come up with a descriptive, compelling, splashy name for your company, brand, or product. You run it through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s quick search online and guess what? It’s available! You’re golden. Company naming is easy, right?
Unfortunately, even if you’re lucky enough to get this far with your favorite name, it doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. If you search the USPTO’s database, you may only find exact matches, but the basis for trademark infringement is “likelihood of confusion.” That means there could be alternate spellings or merely similar-sounding names that could disqualify your claim. If you press on without knowing these potential conflicts, you risk wasting money and time.
The truth is that the names that kindle the most initial enthusiasm are often the ones with treacherous trademark issues lurking behind them. The reason? If there’s an incredible but somewhat obvious name choice, it’s likely someone has already snapped it up. Our clients often love the names with the highest risk because those are the most popular.