Things I thought this lunchtime... ... Tesco cheap imitation red… - Sally's Journal
|Date:||June 25th, 2008 07:53 am (UTC)|| |
AIUI (which is not very well) it's all about keeping things in their spheres. So if you had a butchers shop called Red Bull, and you could show that nothing your butchers shop did was anything to do with energy drinks or the kudos attached to the name of energy drinks, then that's fine. So you can have a beer trademarked "clarkes" and a shoe-shop trademarked "clarkes" (warning! this is a made up example and may be wrong) and that isn't a problem, because shoes and beer are nothing to do with each other.
Or indeed a pub called the Red Bull.
Yes, that's how I understand as well. (There are some nice examples, like how Red Bull Butchers is probably ok, but Fred's SONY sunglasses are probably not, even if Sony never many sunglasses, because they make so many kinds of things someone would assume the sunglasses are Sony's.)
(And IIRC, if you're not providing goods or services, and there's no possibility of looking as if you were officially endorsed, you're not restricted from using trademarks, so apparently Photoshop are just (for good reasons) overzealous about threatening everyone who uses it as a verb. But again, I could not be at all certain.)
However, I was thinking of the other sort of exception, one where you do have a related product, but you're not inviting confusion about who actually produced it. There are several specifically called out, such as using your own name, using the trademark to identify the other product as with accessories or spare parts, etc.
I would have no idea if this sort of thing is conceivable (it's certainly normally not worth it), but accept the assurances of the more certain people that it isn't.
 Presumably you would still be vulnerable to passing off. And I don't know if you're allowed to change your name to something confusing, I assume not, but don't know why.