In a recent Domain Wire posting there was an eloquent article about the bad names legal battle. I couldn’t agree more with the comments there, so I am just adding to it. Firstly, see these two logos and try tell me they are great audio companies.
I sure thought this latter one was the name of some component for electric vehicles until I saw the logo. Now I think it is for a drip irrigation scheme, under my eaves maybe. On top of that, one of these companies has claimed eavzdrop.com, presumably to help their ownership claims. But evezdrop.com and evesdrop.com are still available.
Since eavesdrop is a generic word in the world of listening, neither can get registered trademarks on their names as they are phonetic equivalents, and in trademark law phonetic equivalents are the same. Perhaps the judge will point this out and throw both of them out of court as neither deserves exclusive ownership. My experience however tells me in these cases that they party with the most money usually wins.
More importantly, just as Domain Wire said, what stupid names, especially for the longer term as the businesses change and evolve. I have previously blogged about the simultaneous rollout of Pandora (someone in their same industry and name space for free internet/mobile radio) and Pandora the jewelry line. But at least these are both registered trademarks in very different industries.
Any naming agency or consultant can do better than this.. and for far less than their legal fees.. with a much bigger long term marketing payoff. We, for one agency, would be happy to reduce our fees to $2,000 total, just to see this stupidity go away. Then they would have a unique trademarkable name to use with different taglines going forward.