Am I Infringing on their trademark?


I have a software program launching in approx three months. Yesterday I found out that the desired name of my software is very similar to another company's software product.

Although the products are different. My product ends in "o" and theirs in "e", all other letters are the same.

Their name is trademarked. Will I still be able to use my desired name? Furthermore will I be able to trademark my product name?

(I have no experience in this field)

Thanks for your answers,

Products Product Launch Trademark

asked Jul 11 '10 at 08:20
Tanvir Chowdhury
165 points

3 Answers


Everyone here will preface with "consult a lawyer," which you should, but generally speaking trademarks are limited to the scope of business.

For example a local business (restaurant, laundromat) could collide with a business in another state because they don't overlap.

Or if the two business are in completely different verticals (one agriculture, the other is a law firm) it could be acceptable.

Or for example a name like "O'Reilly's" could be used in different contexts because it's someone's name, but someone trying to pretend to be McDonald's couldn't do that.

In general if your company could be confused with the other company because they overlap in domain, it's likely a problem. But if confusion is essentially impossible, or if it involves common words ("word" or a proper name), then it's more likely you can overlap.

answered Jul 11 '10 at 10:13
16,231 points


I don't think you can trademark a name that sounds very close to a trademarked one in the same marketing field (e.g. both in software products).

Here in Italy I worked in the IT of a trademark and brevets attorney company and I know that before granting the trademark a survey is conducted to existing marks that sounds like the one the customer asked to protect.

At least, here in Italy/Europe. I can't tell for other countries.
Have you got some backups name?

answered Jul 12 '10 at 17:57
118 points


Ask yourself:

  • Do you feel that someone will be confused and be buying something they didn't intend to? I'd suggest an answer of yes to this question should result in looking at changing the name. This is the purpose of a TM. Also remember that it is easier to change the name now then later.
  • answered Jul 13 '10 at 06:01
    John Bogrand
    2,210 points

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