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    9 Replies Latest reply on Mar 22, 2011 3:28 PM by Paul Reidl

    "confusingly similar" - trademark

    dslasvegas Newbie
      I recently received a letter from a big company saying or slogan is confusingly similar. I need advice in how to look into this problem. We have used this slogan for about a year. We don't know if this is a situation where the big man is trying to strong arm the small guy.
      Thier slogan is " drier. healthier. cleaner." our slogan is " a healthier, cleaner solution". They made it clear if we don't remove this from all advertising they will go after us for 3 times the amount the company made off the slogan.
      Is this right? Thank you for any and all help!
        • Re: "confusingly similar" - trademark
          DomainDiva Ranger
          You need to get the advice of a Trademark attorney. Is your slogan 'on file' with the Secretary of State? I ask because if a new company applies for an LLC, C Corp or S Corp the State will in most cases advise you of 'close proximity' between names and slogans.

          Did you receive an actual Trademark from the US Patent Office? Did an attorney file it for you or did you do it yuorself online? (Super bad idea to go online and file a me on this). Is the slogan a part of the trademark? If so you may have some remedy there...once again only a trademark attorney can help you.

          It is possible that you are being strong armed, an attorney will be able to help you. Be sure to have all of your incorporation documents as well as samples of your product and advertising as well as the artwork for your Trademark. Also you will need a list of publications you have advertised in and copies of those ads as well.

          Patent and trademark law is very specific do not use anyone but a board certified trademark/patent attorney!

          Good Luck and please keep us posted.
          • Re: "confusingly similar" - trademark
            Citadel Newbie
            Try PrePaid Legal or your local bar association to get a trademark attorney. That's how folks find me when they need help.
            • Re: "confusingly similar" - trademark
              nishantk Newbie

              Dear Dslasvegas,

              Every business need a legal expert at almost each step of the decision making process, dispute resolution etc.

              But unfortunately, small business generally find it very costly to use attorney services on regular basis. Big businesses use attorneys services to bully around.

              Now Prepaid Legal services has come to empower small businesses. They provide multiple free services which are vital for business growth and smooth functioning. For this businesses pay minimal monthly fees.


              Best of luck,
              • Re: "confusingly similar" - trademark
                intechspecial Ranger
                I might be going out on a limb here, but I would let them come after me.

                You have used the slogan for over a year, and out of the blue they make an accusation that could be or is unfounded.


                If they are a huge, nationwide orginization, it could me national exposure for your company.

                David vs. Goliath!

                Of course everyone routes for David to defeat Goliath.

                I would consult with an attorney, or look into trademark laws before I completely went out on a limb though, and might see if you can find out the actual date of them using this slogan. Also, have verifiable proof that you started using this slogan 1 year ago.


                Either way, I would take the risk. National exposure!
                Sounds to me that Goliath might be barking up the wrong tree!
                • Re: "confusingly similar" - trademark
                  Citadel Newbie
                  Unless you're' judgement proof' (you have no cash or assets (do you own a home?)), letting yourself get sued is a bad idea. Getting legal counsel and being proactive is the smart choice. I may be speaking like
                  an attorney (because I am one) but, you should know that our effectiveness and how much we charge (and while charge a reasonable project rate and not a higher hourly fee, most of my compatriots don't) depends on your choices to act prudently rather than rashly or even recklessly.
                    • Re: "confusingly similar" - trademark
                      CEO Space Scout

                      Will be contacting you via your web site? We have top of the top attorneys in our network yet our membership is always growing so they are getting overwhelmed with clients. Please look for that from

                      As for the topic of this thread:
                      My suggestion would be to get an attorney now and also to try and negotiate a cooperative deal rather than go into it from a purely confrontational manner.

                      Recently we had a similar thing happen to a member of ours on a patent and a very large international company and instead of being confrontational or just rolling over, our member worked out a very favorable arrangement.
                    • Re: "confusingly similar" - trademark
                      Citadel Newbie
                      Agreed that a deal can be a better approach than litigation when the facts on the ground support it; sometimes unfortunately it takes litigation to get folks at the table to deal. My web site is: RegulatoryWorld.Biz
                      • Re: "confusingly similar" - trademark
                        Paul Reidl Newbie

                        I think their letter is a bit exaggerated insofar as damages are concerned -- and their claim of confusing similarity.  In fact, I am not at all sure that their slogan functions as a trademark.  Sure sounds descriptive to me.