New brand with similar logo to another brand?

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New brand with similar logo to another brand?

Post by mazdafan_32 »


I am launching a new business and have a selection of domains names to choose from, one problem I have is that due to the nature of one of the domains (it begins with 360) so I want to logo to represent a circle and "all round" kind of concept which will be rather similar to another company which are located in the UK and US, I will only be operating in the UK.

Would I be tempting fate to use a similar domain with a similar logo, my business is not identical to the other however there will be some similar offerings.

any advice?
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Re: New brand with similar logo to another brand?

Post by AndyJ »

Hi mazdafan

It's hard to say whether or not you will face difficulties as it depends a) on the degree of similarity between your logo/URL and the other company's, and b) whether the other company is prepared to make an issue of any near-infringement. The figures 360 and the use of circles in trade marks are pretty commonplace (for instance there are 63 registered marks which contain the string '360' or ' 360°' and there will be several tens of thousand or more graphic marks featuring a circle*) and so if you can design a logo which is as far from the other company's as you can get without abandoning your circle concept, then this should help.
The URL issue is somewhat different because although you obviously can't have two identical URLs, a similarity may be inevitable if you want to register a URL which is closely connected to your brand etc, in order to make it more memorable. On the other hand the Domain Name Dispute Resolution system is relatively easy to bring to bear and the hearing officers tend to be fairly pragmatic in their rulings over infringements, ie if they think a URL has been registered in order to mislead people or to cybersquat, they don't take much convincing by the complainant to cancel the offending registration. However if you have already established goodwill in your brand then it will be much easier to defend a claim against you on the basis that people who type in your URL will generally have done so knowing that it is your site they wish to visit, rather than just trying all the permutations they think might work, and chancing upon your site by accident. Afterall. most people who do not know the actual URL of a site will generally come there via Google, and so the confusion problem rarely lies with misleading URLs per se, and is more likely to be a matter of SEO ranking or misleading AdSense listings.

You can get expert, tailored advice on such matters from a Trade Mark Attorney.

* The IPO trade mark database cannot be searched just using geometrical shapes and so you need to come at the search issue by way of the product or service classification invloved to see what may already be registered.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007
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