Business Management

Spaces & Trademarks

Trademarks, like most intellectual properties, can be tricky. And adding spaces into the mix can make trademarks even more complicated.

What is a trademark?

The United States Patent and Trademark Office defines a trademark as a word phrase, symbol, design or combination that identifies and distinguishes source of goods from a company over others.

When applying for a trademark, to avoid any confusion, you should always provide proof of use with the identical spelling and punctuation of how it will be known to consumers. And yes, spaces do matter. In fact, the lack of space or even use of a space can cause delay or even rejection of the application. This will cost you even more time and money. To really prevent confusion and add extra protection, you can always apply for different variations of your trademark. Before making any decisions, you should always speak with an experienced Phoenix trademark lawyer.

Once you have been approved for your trademark, you are in charge of enforcing your own trademark rights. Which means you need to look for infringement on your own.

Things to look for, including spaces

When looking for any brands that might be infringing on your trademark, look for names that are similar to yours. They do not have to be identical, just either look, sound or even mean the same. Also, are their goods and services similar to yours? If the answer is yes, it could be close enough to be considered infringement, so you need to be aware of these things. And often times spaces can make an impact, but not always.

Sometimes spaces can change the meaning of a brand. This usually isn’t considered infringement. For example, Super Bowl and Superb Owl. A space is added but in a different spot, therefore, they have two complete meanings and are not considered to be associated with each other.

There are some brands where spaces really do not matter at all. A good example is Wal-Mart. Everyone knows that Wal-Mart, Walmart or Wal Mart is all considered the same brand. Space or no space, they leave the same impression.

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