Sandwich, MA asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Massachusetts

Q: Can I create a company called “Robin-Hood loans” or Robin-hood Funding”? What about RobbinHood or Robbin-Hood with two B

I had a trademark question. With the investment company RobinHood owning the trademark name of Robinhood.

1 Lawyer Answer
Eric Estadt
Eric Estadt
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Columbus, OH

A: I recommend against creating a company in the financial industry with any name that is similar looking or sounding to RobinHood. That is likely to invite a cease and desist letter, lawsuit, or other legal action against you. Even if the risk was low, do you really want your brand to have such a confusingly similar name to another well-known brand in a similar/related industry?

Ultimately, trademark infringement usually comes down to a question of whether your use of a certain trademark would confuse a relevant group of consumers about who the source of a product or service is. These consumer categories are usually broadly defined as any ordinary consumer unless there is some kind of specialty involved, such as with high end industrial equipment (which does not appear to be the case here). Also, even if you believe your company provides different services (loans, funding, etc.) than RobinHood does (stock trading), trademark law will generally consider the services to be sufficiently related if other third party companies provide both types of services.

An experienced trademark attorney will be able to help you navigate these issues and provide advice regarding the risks and benefits of registering your proposed marks.

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