Using a Trademark as a business name. Can I?

(9 Posts)
Snowboarder Tue 24-Jun-14 08:42:38

Ok, I have my business idea and have come up with the perfect name. The only trouble is that whilst no one else is using it for a business within my sector, one of the large cosmetic giants has the trademark for that name which doesn't run out until 2027. It is the name of one of their products that is now discontinued so perhaps unlikely to be used by them again but who knows?

Would I be totally mad to use it? My business is related to dermatology and the products are skincare products but I don't think anyone would get confused between the two.

Where do I stand legally? Or should I just pick another name altogether?

nannynick Tue 24-Jun-14 08:50:02

I would not risk using it. I had to hand over a web domain due to a trademark being part of the domain name.

You could write to them to ask permission to use the name.

nooka Tue 24-Jun-14 08:56:42

If your business is in dermatology and the name is used by a cosmetics company then I think this would be quite a risky thing to do. Some large organisations commit resources to check for copyright infringements, so don't assume it will be unnoticed (downside of the internet is the easy traceability of such things). Ask permission or find something else.

fackinell Tue 24-Jun-14 09:03:31

Is the trademark name used in this country? You can have copyright of something in the US but not UK, for example. Type in into the list of available domain names (I forget the site, anyone?) it will give you ideas similar too. Otherwise I wouldn't touch it.

I got advice on this from a retired intellectual property rights lawyer when I started my business.

Snowboarder Tue 24-Jun-14 16:29:27

Thank you for the feedback. I think I am going to go for a slightly different name. For example, if the copyright is pureskin (not the real TM) I am going to use purityskin. Would this be ok?

fackinell Tue 24-Jun-14 21:01:45

I really don't know, I would imagine it would be fine but if its too similar they may take umbrage. For example Microsoft called their Dropbox type feature Skydrive but Sky made them change it and its now Onedrive.

Gfplux Wed 02-Jul-14 16:57:43

Why cause yourself an extra worry. You will have enough problems starting your business without an extra one.

Chislemum Wed 20-Aug-14 16:51:20

Are you still worried by this? Please private message me and I will advise a bit (my job) and want to support other women.

Important is not only similarity of the mark, but also of the goods/services so you need to look at that too. There is a lot of case law, so not easy for a lay person.

Chislemum Wed 20-Aug-14 16:52:13

I meant to say: it is my job to advise on trade marks and I always want to support other women (with their plans).... smile

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