Trademark vs. Trademark

Posted by Dan Keeney

Infringe on a trademark? Have a lawyer nearby.

It seems like almost every week I run into some situation involving a trademark.

Today I had a new experience. One of my clients asked me to gather some information about one of their customers. The customer has a product that just so happens to have a name that is identical to the name of the parent company that makes a competitive line of products. Both names are trademarked.

When I raised concerns about having a product with the same name as a competing company, I was told not to worry, since one is a product and the other is a company. That sounded like a load of crap to me.

Could you imagine somebody having the guts to call the hamburger on their menu the McDonald Hamburger? After all, McDonald’s calls their hamburgers all sorts of different names, but none of their PRODUCTS are named McDonald, right? I don’t think McDonald’s would let that fly — in fact they seek to enforce their trademark on “Mc” anything — even if it has nothing to do with food.

Having worked on the crisis / issues management side of several trademark infringement cases — one of which caused a company to have to file for brankruptcy — I am very sensitive to respecting the rights of the first mover. Little guys are very susceptible to getting the shaft when it comes to having a trademark eventually enforced.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, May 5th, 2011 at 4:02 pm and is filed under PR Stories, Public Relations Advice. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “Trademark vs. Trademark”

  1. Richie Escovedo Says:

    I’ve wondered about that when I run across names that I recognize from organizations or products. It would seem to me you wouldn’t want the hassle or headaches involved with arguing that in a courtroom much less the court of public opinion.

  2. Marketing And Pr Says:

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