The following is an edited transcript of my video When Two Identical Brand Names Coexist
People often have the mistaken impression that a trademark has to be completely unique in the universe. That would have a real limiting effect on the number of brands that are out there because Apple, for instance, is in the name for many businesses. There’s Apple the computer and iPhone maker, and Apple Records and many other businesses that have Apple in the name that are in different industries or fields. When you’re doing an analysis, it depends on whether two marks are likely to be confused, on how strong, distinctive, and creative the term is, and on how similar or dissimilar the goods and services are. It depends on their channels of trade, how they’re marketed and sold, and many other factors, but those are generally the most important ones.
This is one of many reasons that it’s very important to work with an attorney and an expert when you’re dealing with trademark issues.
Recently somebody said, Peloton might be infringing the Pelton name, and I do get quite a few misspellings where people address me as Mr. Peloton, which is always entertaining, but I love Peloton. What they do with exercise and bicycles has nothing to do with what I do for legal services and trademarks. Plus, there’s a slight distinction in the spelling, and so there is no conflict there, and both of our names are registered at the USPTO.
Other names that coexist that are pretty well known are Delta Air Lines and Delta Faucets – two totally different industries that don’t interact or connect. Dove soap products along with Dove chocolate and ice cream – different products, different aisles in the store. They don’t really interact and both co-exist.