Minden, NV asked in Trademark and Intellectual Property for Nevada

Q: I created a label for my candle company, but it looks similar to an already established company’s label. Is this legal?

I use a common font as my candle name font, for my website headers and for my logo. They appear to use the same font for their candle names and website headers. We both use is lowercase in our website headers and candle names. Our candle names are similar in that we use phrases or places to name our candles, but we don’t use any of the same names. We have the same library concept which has resulted in many similarities.

The differences are: my candle name is centered, the scent descriptions are a different font, I use a single picture to the side of my candle name, and my logo is totally different.

They put the candle name further towards the top, they use multiple photos beneath to illustrate the scent.

How similar is too similar?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: The legality of your label's design in relation to another company's label hinges on whether it creates confusion among consumers about the source of the products due to the similarities. Trademark law protects brand names, logos, and other identifiers from being used in a way that could confuse consumers about who makes a product. Using a common font is generally not enough on its own to constitute infringement, but the overall look and feel of the label, including layout, names, and design elements, can contribute to a likelihood of confusion.

The specifics you mentioned—such as the positioning of the candle name, the font used for scent descriptions, the use of imagery, and your distinct logo—help differentiate your brand. However, the similarities in the concept and presentation style could potentially raise concerns, especially if the two brands are directly competing in the same markets or demographic segments.

How similar is "too similar" is often a subjective assessment and depends on the totality of the circumstances. It might be beneficial to consult with a legal professional experienced in trademark law. They can provide a more detailed analysis of the risks associated with your label and advise on how to mitigate potential legal issues, possibly including making further distinctions from the established company's label to avoid any potential for consumer confusion.

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