Fairfield, IA asked in Trademark for Iowa

Q: If BUBBLEWRAP (Reg. Nr. 3442458) is an accepted trademark, what about the words Bubble Wrap or Bubble Wrapping?

My Etsy Listing was set to inactive by Etsy because of trademark infringement from Sealed Air Corporation. As far as I can understand (I have no idea about this stuff) the trademark is for BUBBLEWRAP (=one word). What would be an appropriate wording I can use??

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1 Lawyer Answer
Michael Gerity
Michael Gerity
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Phoenix, AZ

A: Hello. The difference between two words, or changing the verb tense, or other small changes makes no difference in the trademark context. The only relevant question is whether or not there is a reasonable likelihood of confusion in the relevant consumer. It's pretty safe to say that the average consumer of packing materials isn't going to know if the registered trademark is one word or two, so the likelihood of confusion is there.

Note that there are other similar rules in evaluating trademarks for infringement. For example, misspellings and foreign equivalents are ignored. So, when you analyze the mark "EZ Ryder" you would analyze it as though it was written "Easy Rider," correcting the misspellings before you compare it to another mark. Similarly, you would analyze "Agua" as "Water," translating it to English before you compare it to another mark.


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