Choosing a trademark that won’t buy you a lawsuit

It all comes down to that old business mantra: cost + risk = benefit

In my last blog post for i-Sight, we discussed choosing a trademark for your company’s new product that lets you walk and chew gum at the same time, releasing millions of uncoordinated people from the embarrassment of having to turn down an offer of Orbit (and a sparkling mouth) on the way back to the office after lunch at the Stinking Rose. (Yes, it’s a real restaurant in San Francisco, and everything they serve has lots and lots of garlic in it.)

So anyway, the marketing folks wanted to call it the Walk ‘N Chew because they said it described the product perfectly—it would get their message across immediately. But you read my blog (and my father is very proud of me that I wrote it and you read it, and thanks you very much) and told them about the dangers of using a descriptive term and asked them to come up with a mark that has nothing to do with the product. First they said “You want us to do what? Are you nuts?” And then you had them read my blog (my father thanks you again) and now knowing better, they changed it to YOWZA!!.

Contributing Author

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Jill Sarnoff Riola

Jill Sarnoff Riola is a shareholder at Carlton Fields Jorden Burt. She specializes in United States and international intellectual property litigation and transactions, with particular...

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