The increase in blogging is fueling trade name infringements
Recently I received a Notice of Infringement Cease and Desist letter over the blog and newsletter name Altitude Marketing. This came as a surprise because I’d been publishing the blog and newsletter for over a year. It seems that “Altitude” when combined with “Marketing” violated a trademark registered by another marketing consulting firm.
Ignorance is bliss
The way I looked at it, this was a blog name, not a company name. In addition, we operated in different market segments. I have several aviation-based clients. They had none. Their logo had mountains. My masthead showed an airplane. A google search identified several marketing companies using variations of the two-word combined phrase.
A quick search of United States Trademark Electronic Search System, (TESS) identified two companies with similar but different trademarks. Both had registered the term and shown prior use before I published my blog.
A second search of “WHOIS” provided the necessary confirmation that the URL of the combined words was indeed registered to the party that instigated the cease and desist letter.
Finding a new name without any previous use is like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack.
Naming is a tedious task, especially when operating in a specific market segment. My mission was to conceive a new name that was clever, identified what the blog content is, and would be memorable and connect with aviation marketers.
After three days of name ideation and cross checking names and combined terms with TESS and WHOIS, seven possible names were selected for consideration. Of course, being a firm believer of “practice what your preach,” I posted the choice of names to my Facebook page with a heart-felt plea for my online community to act as a focus group and post their comments for each name possibility.
Three of the seven names were immediately embraced as having potential to replace the current combination of words, with one being a decisive winner.
Strategic Air Marketing replaces Altitude Marketing
The chosen replacement name is Strategic Air Marketing. I am happy to report the TESS and URL registration is complete, and that the digital frontier can be tamed through due diligence and free online research tools.
To view the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Trademark Electronic Search System click the following link (TESS)
To start a domain search for available URL’s click here.
I’m interested in hearing from my fellow aviation marketers. Have any of you had similar experiences and if so what was the work around? Please comment in the space below.
photo credit: caitlinburke via photopin cc