Winning Names Already Trademarked

Just curious how that all works. I see several contests (not ones I am competing in now or recently so not complaining or anything like that) where the winning name that the CH has chosen for a business name, app name etc. are actually listed as registered and active trademarks. So I am assuming the CH would not be able to actually use the name or risk getting sued? If the CH does not know the name is an active trademark, do they ever come back and ask for a new name? Do they not care if it is trademarked and use the name for their thing anyway? Just curious. I make a habit to check every name for a trademark and if there is one I do not submit it since I figure the CH will not be able to use it. Which really sucks when you think you were really smart coming up with a cool unique name then find in the TM search that 5 other companies already came up with it years ago. I was really curious because I have come up with some cool names but did not submit for that reason but then I see many people winning contests with names that have a trademark claim on them. So I was wondering If it is ok to submit them or not. I would have to let the CH know there is a trademark but then, of course, why would they want a name that is already Claimed?

It would depend on which category(ies) the name is Trademarked in…in using the Apple analogy, one could not use it in the electronics arena, but in the shoe industry, yes maybe.

It also depends on how vehemently a company defends their TM…someone like Nike, who has their brand in many pots will most likely defend it to the hilt.

I think it’s ok to submit the name, letting CH know you did check it and it was registered in x,y,z, categories. It would be up to them if they want to utilize it, it’s their responsibility to have a TM lawyer do their due diligence.

However depending on the name structure, I would shy away if it was too close to a competitor’s name…we wouldn’t want to confuse the customers and send them to the wrong company

Just my humble opinion.


This movie had a previous run about six months ago, and what I’ve surmised is that there are some contest holders who are really looking for a URL to scalp on sedo, rather than name an app, or a business. The trademarked name, in url form, is available for registration, because no one but the trademark holder could put it to use. But scalpers don’t know, and don’t care about that.