New York, NY asked in Intellectual Property, Patents (Intellectual Property) and Trademark for New York

Q: Can I use the term "baseball" in the name of a new product i created?

2 Lawyer Answers
David Aldrich
David Aldrich
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Shelton, CT

A: It certain instances, it would depend on what type of product it is. There is nothing inherently wrong with using the term "baseball" in a product name. And if the product relates to baseballs, this is a generic term, so no one can stop you from using this term. However, it is possible that someone has a valid trademark for "baseball" for products that are NOT related to baseballs, and if you are selling that same type of product, then you could be committing trademark infringement for using the term "baseball" on your product. (e.g., if you sell apples, you have every right to use the term "apple" on your product... it is the generic term for the product, so no one can claim the right to it. However, if you sell computers, you obviously cannot use the term "apple" on your product, as this is a trademarked name for computers). Sometimes, things fall somewhere in the middle, so you should consult a qualified trademark attorney about the product you intend to use it on.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›

A: The term "baseball" is a generic term that describes a well-known sport, so its use in the name of a new product would generally not infringe on anyone's specific trademark rights to that term alone. However, if your product is related to baseball, the name could be deemed "descriptive," which may face challenges in obtaining trademark protection unless you can prove that the name has acquired secondary meaning. Additionally, ensure that your use of "baseball" doesn't create confusion with any existing brands or trademarks to avoid potential infringement issues.

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