A well-thought-out trademark name is essential
When starting a company, or creating a new brand, one of the first things to do is choosing a name. It is fun but can also be difficult considering the regulations it must comply with to be accepted as a trademark, not to mention coming up with a name that no one else is already using.
An interesting company on the subject is Essential Products, a US based technology company that develops and manufactures smartphones and smart speakers.
What is remarkable is that Essential Products announced its first product, the Essential Phone, on May 30th this year, without having a solid trademark protection. It currently has four registered marks, which got accepted in Great Britain and EU in mid-August and end of September. In total, the company has about 120 pending applications for words and logotypes including the term Essential, of which most are for the US where it has met resistance not only from the USPTO.
Spigen Inc. is a manufacturer of accessories for consumer electronics. It holds the rights to the Essential trademark in the US for a wide range of goods connected to smartphones, tablets and cameras to name a few, though not smartphones directly.
Two days after Essential Products’ announcement, Spigen’s lawyers sent a cease and desist letter accusing the company for infringement and demanding it to immediately stop using any marks including the term Essential. They stated that they “are prepared to take any and all actions required to protect Spigen’s marks”. The threat does not seem to scare Essential Products from claiming its right to the brand, as it has filed even more applications that includes the term since then.
It is a risky decision to invest in marketing and launching of a brand that clearly is not unique, before having the exclusive rights. Should Essential Products not be granted the trademark, it may be forced to change the name, which will most likely result in a substantial financial loss for the company.
A situation like this can be avoided by having proactive strategy from step one. As a part of Otmore’s approach, we offer a free trademark analysis before filing the application, which has proven to be effective. Contact us today if you want to know more about how we can help secure your assets!