How much variation on a trademark is enough to not be a violation?

Posted by Michael Shimokaji | Apr 19, 2017 | 0 Comments

QUESTION: A country band trademarked a name out East that does not perform anymore. A rock band in the West has become more popular now and has been sent a letter demanding they change the name. If you add an exclamation mark at the end of the name, is that enough? (I understand the the band “Fun!” added the exclamation mark because someone trademarked the name “Fun” but don't know if that is true). If you add one word to make it different, like ‘The Who”, vs “Guess Who”, or has the laws changed since then?

ANSWER: Adding an exclamation point or adding one word will likely not be enough to enable you to obtain a trademark registration or avoid trademark infringement.

About the Author

Michael Shimokaji

Michael’s expertise includes the strategic development of patent and trademark portfolios. He identifies those patents and trademarks that are valuable to his clients by providing them with a competitive advantage. Then, Michael obtains patent and trademark registrations in the US and abroad.

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