Recently, Snap Inc., owners of Snapchat, filed a complaint against a startup company for its use of a product name Snap, Inc. says is too close to one of its own. While some may argue that this matter should be put to rest because the names are not identical, others understand that Snap stands to lose revenue in the long run if this issue goes unaddressed. The trademark issue in this case may strike a chord with some business owners in Colorado who may be dealing with similar situations, so it will be a good case to follow.
Snapchat has trademarked the word Bitmoji for an emoji avatar program and keyboard it designed and has used for years. A newer company, Hierographics, named its similar product Badmoji and has been promoting it in a way that Snap believes may cause consumer confusion. This is actually the second time the tech giant has filed suit against this small company over this trademark. The first time it had to do with software. This time, the issue is all about merchandising.
Bitmoji and Badmoji are essentially the same product. They look the same, sound the same and are being promoted in the same manner. They are not the same, though, and Snapchat wants consumers to be able to differentiate it from its competitors. It is asking that Hierographics be barred from printing and promoting its images on merchandise. It is unclear when a decision is expected in this case.
Defending a trademark is not necessarily an easy thing to do. It can be a complex process that can take more time to get through than most may realize. Business owners in Colorado should not let this sway them from taking action though. If one’s business is being threatened in any way over this type of trademark issue, taking steps to address it may be in one’s best interests. Those who wish to do so can turn to an attorney with experience handling intellectual property matters for assistance.