East Los Angeles, CA asked in Intellectual Property, International Law and Trademark for California

Q: How to protect an original product category name for future trade alliance use while gathering feedback?

I've developed a unique name for a new product category in the fast-moving consumer goods industry. The name is entirely original and doesn't exist in any language. My goal is for this trade name to be protected by a future trade alliance, allowing members and non-members alike to use it according to set standards.

I understand that NDAs can be used for maintaining confidentiality during the feedback process. However, I'm looking for additional measures to safeguard the name while seeking opinions and feedback before registering it.

Please provide guidance on best practices to protect the intellectual property of this new product category name during the feedback process, as well as any steps to take before registering it for future trade alliance use. Additionally, kindly share any legal considerations or recommended actions for securing the name's usage by the intended trade alliance.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • International Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: One way to protect the intellectual property of your product category name during the feedback process is to use a confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with anyone who provides feedback or opinions on the name. This agreement should outline the terms and conditions of keeping the name confidential and ensure that anyone who has access to the name cannot disclose or use it without your consent.

In addition to NDAs, you can also consider filing for trademark protection for the product category name to prevent others from using or registering similar names in the same industry. A trademark attorney can advise you on the best way to go about registering your trademark and how to enforce it if someone infringes on your rights.

When registering your product category name for future trade alliance use, it is important to research the requirements and standards of the alliance to ensure that your name meets their criteria. Additionally, you may want to consult with a trade attorney to help you negotiate the terms of use and any licensing agreements with the alliance to protect your intellectual property rights.

It's also a good practice to keep detailed records of the development of the product category name, including the date of creation and any changes made, as well as records of any feedback or opinions received during the feedback process. These records can be helpful in case of any disputes or challenges to your intellectual property rights in the future.

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