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Avoiding confusion with company names and trademarks

Starting up a new business can be exciting and lucrative for Cincinnati residents. However, there are also numerous legal aspects to business formation that should be carefully considered to avoid the possibility of a corporate dispute. One of these points involves the creation of the company’s name, particularly when it comes to choosing a domain name and logo or trademark.

Trademarks usually fall into the category of intellectual property, states the World Intellectual Property Organization, since they are a creation of the mind. How can a trademark give rise to an intellectual property dispute? This often occurs when one company’s name, logo or trademark closely resembles that of another business, whether intentional or accidental.

For example, according to Entrepreneur.com, a business owner may choose a domain name that is similar to that of another company that offers the same type of products or services. This may mislead consumers into purchasing from one company when they had meant to do business with the other. Intentionally diverting customers away from another company through means of confusion is considered fraudulent.

Business owners have a better chance of avoiding confusion or accusations of fraud if they choose a company name and domain that is original, clever and/or suggests the nature of the company. It may also be effective to use a distinctive name that has nothing to do with the type of business, but can become recognized as a brand standard. It is inevitable that with the thousands of businesses across the country, some company names or trademarks may be similar to others. It is therefore important for business owners to be sure that their brand is not confused for another.

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