Often referred to as the Name Game, companies usually try out a variety of names for various innovations they intend to trademark.
If you have spent any time trademark watching, you would find out fairly quickly that if you watch the latest applications for trademarks, you can figure out who is about to introduce what to the marketplace. Likely this is only for serious geeks, but it does have an element of a treasure hunt about it.
For example, in 2010 Hewlett Packard sent in an application to trademark the term “PalmPad.” Not many were too excited about the name that they thought would be given to their webOS tablet. It is hardly catchy and does not really have commercial appeal. Then, along came another trademark application for the HP TouchPad – still not that classy a name, but perhaps a tad better than PalmPad, although that may be arguable in certain circles.
Never fear, it seems there are several more options that have also been sent in for trademarking, including HP Touchcanvas, HP Duopad and HP Touchslate. These are hardly barnburners, but were evidently prompted by the U.S. Patent Office turning down the PalmPad application. Why did the patent office turn down the application to trademark the name PalmPad?
If you have a good sense of humor or slightly skeptical nature, you will be interested to know that it was turned down because PalmPad was too close to an existing trademark, and that trademark would be Palm. Yes, the very same company that Hewlett Packard bought so it had access to the webOS software so it could ship it off to the market under the Hewlett Packard (or Palm) name. Looks like that went over like a lead balloon with the patent office.
This makes for an interesting conversation when it comes to trademark infringement and why it pays to have potential marks registered. In today’s fast paced marketplace, it is not hard to imagine one company either stepping on another’s toes or inadvertently using something that had no right to use.
International business is complex. IP and trademark infringement is even more complex and expensive. It pays to have a skilled Los Angeles business litigation lawyer with this type of knowledge on hand to answer your questions and keep track of who has what or who shouldn’t have what. It is called protecting your company.