Branding

What do you do if the company name you want is taken?

Richard Gaspar Account Executive at SocialCentiv

December 2nd, 2015

I'd be interested in knowing thoughts on what the easiest and most efficient process is for determining if a new proposed company name is already taken by a brand holder or if there are similar names that would cause confusion and potential conflict with already existing brand holders.


Peter Connors Creator at HUGZ.com

December 2nd, 2015

Richard - start with USPTO.gov and their TESS system: http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=tess&state=4805:dzikjj.1.1

Mark Wing Client Engagement Director at Small Back Room

December 2nd, 2015

For UK go to Companies House. There's an easy to download App too. Check on there - takes seconds.

Sharon McCarthy Chief Marketing Officer

December 2nd, 2015

4 steps:
  • Do as Peter suggested -- start with USPTO and do a search on the incidences and close incidences for your name.
  • Find out how it's being used in the wild -- a) google the name b) look at all possible domain name registrations and see if they're being used.
  • Get informal FB from an AVVO attorney (Free).
  • Make a decision to continue trademark work (everything looks good) or find another name. 

Richard Gaspar Account Executive at SocialCentiv

December 2nd, 2015

I agree. Thanks for your feedback! Thanks, Richard

Anonymous

December 2nd, 2015

just google the name. If another company is already using it (contrast to has the trademark) I would step away and come up with something new. Having a distinct, memorable yet descriptive name is extremely important for your company. And I am not a big fan of misspellings (like SocialCentiv)

And don't sweat not having the .com name. If your name is great but somebody is squatting the .com name, get a .co or some variation. Google juice is more important than the .com name

Michael Haupt Strategist, speaker, mentor, advisor | Creator of The 2100 Pendulum - a simple model to explain today & predict tomorrow

December 2nd, 2015

Richard, 

The USPTO is the most thorough method of checking, but I noticed that you asked for "the easiest and most efficient process." I usually turn to  knowem.com
for a quick and easy first pass. Their free search is pretty good and they have paid services too. If that turns out clear I then turn to USPTO.

Chris Gorges Partner, Strategy at Rocketure

December 2nd, 2015

Richard, Peter is right re: the first step.

Also, my firm does this w/ a legal team -- and I can offer some free advice / steps. You need to look not just at the USPTO, but also at URLs, existing usage, relevant classes (industry), etc. Shoot me a direct message.