GoDaddy customer service : Advise I sign up for GoDaddy?? Can an Acronym be trademarked?

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Can an acronym be trademarked or copywrited?.

This is the situation...

I picked up a dropped name that has been used as an acronym in an area of technology but the acronym has been used to stand for different areas of that technology by different businesses around the world e.g: = WiSFi (not the actual acronym).

WiSFi = Wireless Secure Fidelity.

WiSFi = Wireless Service Fidelity.

WiSFi = Wireless Seamless Fidelity.

WiSFi = Wireless Solar Fidelity.

Some of these areas have tradmarked their term e.g Wireless Security Fidelity but all use the acronym WiSFi to represent their term. In the UK there is a tm after the acronym but their trademark is registered to the term it represents.

The .net, .org, .info, .biz, are all taken and the .com dropped.

I just checked out who owns the (it was bought 3 weeks ago) and it's another uk comapny who uses the acronym to mean something other than (though the same technology) the UK company who has tm next to the acronym but who didn't purchase the domain.

Any advice or your views on whether I could have tm issues on such an acronym would be appreciated.


Comments (6)





Any of these sound familiar? They are all TMed.

There are many factors involved to give an answer (IE- the acronym, the TMs, the usage of the domain, your intent, your right to use the TM (if in fact the acronym is TMed by companies)).

Unfortunately, this sounds like a unique type of question that a broad answer cannot cover...

Comment #1

Hi DNQuest I can understand America Online being tm'd but where can I find out if the acronym AOL has been tm'd?.



Comment #2 ... do a trademark search (at least in the USA)..

Comment #3

Let's put it this way: nothing's going to prevent that other party from coming.

After you for trademark infringement once you grab that name. It's your ball.

Whether you'll defend your rights to the name.

How you'll use the name, especially if it has anything similar or related to what.

The trademark holder is known for, can make a big difference...

Comment #4

The question is in need of some untangling.... Let's look at two acronyms...

BYOB - Used by cheap party hosts everywhere to signify "bring your own beer".

IBM - Used by International Business Machines on their goods and services as an indicator of source or origin.

The answer to can [fill in blank] be a trademark is the same.

The red triangle on Bass Ale is a trademark - it is a symbol recognized by consumers when placed on certain goods to identify them as originating with a particular source in such a way as to permit consumers to distinguish them from competing goods in the market.

The shape of a Coca-Cola bottle is a trademark.

Whether [insert thing] can be a trademark is entirely a question of whether it functions as one...

Comment #5

That is a helpful clarification. This acronym is being used by different companies to represent a different aspect of the same technology - what always differs is the word used in the middle letter and sometimes the first letter chances. e.g.

Company 1 - WiSFi = Wireless Secure Fidelity.

Comapny 2 - WiSFi = Wireless Service Fidelity.

Company 3 - WiSFi = Wired Secure Fidelity.

The acronym is not currently functioning as a trademark because it means different things to different companies.

In the uk Caompany 1 has trademarked Wireless Secure Fidelity and there is a tm next to WiSFi.

In the US Company 2 has sumitted a tm application for Wireless Service Fidelity.

Back in the uk has been purchased by another uk company offering Wireless Service Fidelity.

Sorry if this is all a bit confusing. It appears that the acronym hasn't yet got a single, global, understanding for what it means; this may shake down over time, as this is an emerging technology. Right now, it cannot be said that the acronym functions as a symbol with a single meaning, or a symbol used to convey a single meaning.

I guess I might find out in time....

Thanks for your views...

Comment #6

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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