Naming Your Baby

Names

Another interesting post from the guys at FIND’S LegalEase Blog:

HOW DO I SAFELY NAME MY NEW PRODUCTION COMPANY?

Q: My friends and I recently formed a production company that we plan to use to produce straight-to-DVD movies. We really like the name we picked and think it’s really distinctive. When we formed the company, we had to do a name search with the California Secretary of State. Luckily no identical name came up so I think we’re free to use the name without having to worry about some other company who’s using the same name, correct?

A: Incorrect. To ease the blow of this blunt, negative answer, let me first congratulate you on trying to stump the lawyers, whether you meant to or not. While your question sounds entertainment-y, it’s actually more a question about intellectual property law, and, more specifically, trademark law. Our moms read this blog (and probably make up 50% of our readership); are you trying to make us look bad in front of our moms?!

In the rest of their post, which you can check out here, they recommend searching your company’s name through the US Patent and Trademark search engine. What’s the verdict on “superfreako” you ask? “No TESS records were found to match the criteria of your query.” W00t.

“superfreak” on the other hand is a different story. The registrations that include “superfreak” are for the following:

  • Protective sports gear, namely protective gloves for lacrosse and hockey.

Ok.

  •  booties and shorts for watersports, shirts.

Really? Two for sports gear?

  • Entertainment services namely, live musical performances by a disco musical band

Now we’re talking. The full trademark on this one is actually “Superfreaks Funky Disco Review”. We’re clearly not a funky disco review (unless you give us a pitcher of margaritas and a karaoke machine), but we are both in the entertainment field. But further down it indicates this person is dead? I’m not sure if that is in reference to the actual registrant or just the trademark. Either way, rest in peace, superfreak.

  • computer software, CD-ROM, musical recordings; calendars, posters, printed materials, and digital publishing materials

This could also be of concern, more than any of the others, except this trademark was abandoned in 1996.

That means superfreako is OURS, ALL OURS!!!

If you’ve never done this and are just now getting your company going, it only takes a minute to check and might save you from having to rebrand down the road.

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