All Questions in Branding >> May I name my Distribution Company name after BrandName thats been Trademarked?

May I name my Distribution Company name after BrandName thats been Trademarked?

Posted by . updated on 11/11/2009
XYZ brand is trademarked.

I want to name my Distribution name: `XYZ Distribution`   (not `XYZ Brand Distribution` of course)

Is this legal?
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Answers (3)
 
Chang Han
It depends on what the word "XYZ" is - whether it is arbitrary or distinctive, for example.

It also depends on the class the brand is TM'ed in and the class you want to TM in.
 
 
Kendall Thiessen
Yes, as stated above tho, the key is whether the use is likely to confuse. The U.S. uses a multi-factor test for confusion (in addition to proof of actual confusion) that generally relate to questions like similarity of products, similarity of name (exact vs close), similarity of channel (do you sell to similar customers), geographic range and strength of mark (uniqueness and fame and other uses by third parties). While I cannot answer most of these I would assert that XYZ is not exactly the most unique name (650k hits for XYZ Inc. on google) and as a result is less likely to create significant blocks to others using it. This is in opposition to names like Amazon, Google, Yahoo and others that are very unique and/or fanciful.

So if you are in a distinct market with a distinct solution and you don't sell to the same customers and perceive the likelihood of confusion are very low, chances are you will be OK.
 
 
JSonnabend
That depends.  Will consumers likely be confused between you and the senior mark holder?

- Jeff
 

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