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Am I allowed to trademark the name of my business even if it's the name of someone else's product?

For instance, a national chain called Cookies Galore has a product that is trademarked under the name "Oatmeal Fudgie-Wudgies." Could I then name my own cookie business Fudgie Wudgies? If not, could I change it slightly to Fudgie Wudge?
Nina Kaufman answered November 21, 2008
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/answer/221743
The Trademark Office determines what's allowed when it comes to trademarks . . . but based on the facts you've presented, it's unlikely your application would be permitted.

The Trademark Office is concerned with marks that are the same OR similar to those already registered and that are being used in the same or a similar way. You're trying to establish a mark that's nearly identical to one that's already in use, and to use it for a nearly identical business.

What happens indirectly is that you would be trading off of the goodwill and hard work that the Oatmeal Fudgie Wudgie company has put into its product and branding.


Choose another name.

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq. is an award-winning New York City attorney, edutainer and author. Under her Ask The Business Lawyer brand, she reaches thousands of entrepreneurs and small business owners with her legal services, professional speaking, information products, and LexAppeal weekly ezine. She also writes the Making It Legal blog.