Is it legal to use a similar popular product name for my own product?
Let's say my company is called GreenBoo ltd and I have a new product for ecommerce, can I call it Boomazon?
This product wont be a real competitor of Amazon. I was just wondering if I can play with names or if there is some type of regulation.
Do not be too concerned about similarity to an existing high profile and trademarked brand, the world is full of sound-alike and look-alike brands. In your example there is no similarity between Boomazon and Amazon (you may be pushing your luck with Bamazon through). You must however do due-diligence and check what you shortlist as your potential brand-name against local company & trading name registrations. Check your options, if in fact Boomazon was your preferred name Google it to see if anyone is using it. The Boomazon URL indecently is owned by TUCOWS DOMAINS INC. a publicly traded Internet services and telecommunications company, headquartered in Toronto, Canada. If you are intending to operate as an Internet services provider in Canada I would strongly recommend avoiding Boomazon!
Finally search your local trade-marks register (should also be on line) to see if the names you like are associated with any company operating in your type of business. You will find that there are likely many enterprises with the same or similar names registered, however if they are not in the same type of business as you core trade mark can usually be easily and inexpensively registered.
To successfully conduct your business and protect your IP you have to be able to own your domain (URL), have a trading or company name registered with your local government agency and a trade mark capable of being registered in your industry type. When you have all 3 you have no need to worry about Amazon, or anyone else!
It depends on how you portray the Brand visually. So far the word "Boomazon" doesn't infringe on anything..... but say you took the "Amazon" logo and cut off the "Am" and put "Boom" in front of it..... that may rustle some feathers and get you a letter in the mail telling you to change that part of the logo. But then say "Boomazon" was some type of extension that helps people find what they want on Amazon... which would be making them more money... it would be relevant to them and supportive so I'm sure they wouldn't mind it in that instance. So it all depends on what it actually is and how closely it ties to the original Brand.
One thing I would suggest is to ALWAYS be unique unless there's some relevant supporting role you're playing towards another brand, hijacking identities make you come off as a leach and a thief... which doesn't instill trust in people you want to put their credit card information in your database for something they're not going to be able to touch and try for theirself until they get it in the mail. anything that shows they might not be able to trust you is a bad thing.
You can check with a trademark attorney to ensure the product name is not in violation of another brand's legal rights. They will do a thorough search and interpret the results for you. If you aren't willing to pay a trademark attorney, there are independent searches you can do as well, but it's possible these searches are not fully accurate and up-to-date. If you do find out your product name is unusable, here are a couple Business.com articles that offer tips to choosing a convincing and memorable name for your business or products:
1. Business and Product Names: A Guide to Choosing or Changing Them
2. Naming a Product: What You Need to Know
What you are asking for is definitely possible if the name or product (business model) is not already patented.
It is a normal business practice worldwide that for the first few years an invention is legally restricted to be copied under patents etc. either in the form of name or product but as soon as the patent expires many people enter the industry to exploit and make their share of profits through a different generic name.
It will be good to take one legal expert and one relevant industry marketing expert on board this idea.
So, best of luck,
North York, Canada
Naming products and services can be a fun and creative exercise - but any names created should be vetted by a copyright attorney to ensure that there are no conflicts with usage.
Is it legal? Yes. Can you be sued for damages? Yes, if they can prove damages. Is it stupid? Yes.
Why do you want to do this? If because you think it will resonate with buyers, Amazon is likely to think you are piggybacking the market penetration they have with their name and get you to shut it down. Why not think of something unique or clever instead?
In the United States the answer is yes. Typically company names are acceptable as long as they are not already taken as company names. But that doesn't mean you can use that name on your products. Under federal law, the Lanham Act, the owner of a product name can sue you if there is a "likelihood of confusion" with its existing product name Interestingly, this is regardless of whether the first product name is a registered trade mark, though registering has significant advantages. In considering likelihood of confusion a court will look to see if the original name is merely descriptive or is "fanciful," the field of use, and whether actual confusion has taken place. Obviously this is a simplified answer of some very complex law.
I have experienced this personally.
Even though you may not find any trademark related to say "Boomazon" and decide to use it.
2 months later .. What if Amazon sends you a legal notice "Surrender Boomazon, it gives people the impression that it is related to Amazon, else we will take the matter to the courts" ..
Now you may be completely right, but most people back off when they see the legal notice. Cost of defending yourself legally may be high for you but for big companies, it is just a legal case. You may win the case. So it is better to avoid names which you are not sure about.
So, weigh-in all options. Keep your small business free from potential unnecessary hassles and focus on growth.