Name recognition and brand loyalty are incredibly valuable assets to any company. Product and service names evoke a vast array of emotions in consumers, and companies often spare no expense when it comes to ensuring those emotions are positive.
This is why it can be so damaging if and when another company brands or names itself as something very similar to yours. Anything the other company does -- for better or worse -- can change the way people feel about your company, which takes the control out of your hands as the business owner. For this reason, it can be crucial to take legal action against another company who is infringing on your protected name, logo and other branding elements.
This is what Edible Arrangements recently did. The fruit basket company filed a lawsuit against Edible Commerce citing various issues from trademark infringement to deceptive trade practices.
The word "edible" has been trademarked by Edible Arrangements, which means that other companies who want to use it must first get permission from Edible Arrangements. If they do not, the trademark holder can take legal action.
In the case against the formerly named Edible Commerce, the company settled with Edible Arrangements and agreed to change their name and rebrand.
Considering the fact that "edible" is a fairly popular word, especially in the context of food and culinary industries, Edible Arrangements has a lot on its plate when it comes to enforcing their trademark. This is certainly something to consider if you are a business owner considering trademarks and other means of protecting intellectual property.
If you do not have the resources -- or desire -- to aggressively protect your brand, name or logo, it may not be necessary to seek a trademark. However, if you want to preserve your company, its image and its recognition in the marketplace, seeking a trademark can be essential.
Whether you want to register a trademark or enforce one you already hold, it will be helpful to consult an attorney who can help you assess your options and navigate the complicated legal system.