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Josh Gerben and Eric Perrott co-authored an article that discusses what businesses who use crowdsourcing campaigns need to consider when it comes to trademark registrations.

Here are some excerpts from Mr. Gerben’s and Mr. Perrott’s article:

“The strongest trademarks (and also the most likely to gain USPTO approval) are arbitrary and have no connection with the product […]. However, they can also be the hardest to market because consumers won’t have a prior connection to the word or phrase. Suggestive trademarks still have some connection to the product but require consumers to take an additional step.”

“It is important to analyze whether the goods and services are related. KICKSTARTER for engine oil may be able to coexist with KICKSTARTER for crowdfunding, because the two are simply not related and, in context, share very different commercial impressions. But analyzing whether goods and services are related is not always as obvious as it may initially seem.”

“A company can do all of its pre-launch marketing and even have pre-sales and still not qualify for “use” under U.S. trademark law. A company can launch its Kickstarter campaign and, halfway through, raise millions of dollars and still not establish use under the law.”


Source: Gerben, J. and Perrott, E.  “Protecting Your Trademark When Crowdfunding Your Product”.  BNA.com.  November 14 2017.