Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for California

Q: Hello, would this name violate a word trademark if the products are very different?


I thought this would be a quick and easy question for someone here who wanted to help. Unfortunately, I'm not really in a financial situation to hire an attorney/lawyer.

I'd like to publish a book with the title "___ for Potato Heads" similar to one of those "for Dummies"/"for Idiots" books. I know Potato Head shows up as "LIVE" in the USPTO search, but the category and use of the words are so different from the Potato Head toy and etc. so I was wondering if this would be okay?

(I also want to doublecheck that it wouldn't be violating the "for Dummies"/"for Idiots" series in concept either?)

Either way, thank you very much for your time.

1 Lawyer Answer
Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Moorestown, NJ

A: No, sorry, you'll likely cannot use "____ for Potato Heads" as a series title.

Why don't you do what the Beatles did when they wanted to record "Dr. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band"? Just work rework it from "___ for Potato Heads" to "__ for Wood Heads", "Mushroom Heads", Vegetable Heads", "Lettuce Heads", "Cabbage Heads", "Pepper Heads", etc. until you get something that your marketing tests show consumer acceptance?

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