Marlboro, Camel, Newport, Winston. These are some of the most well-known tobacco cigarette brands. They’re also major brands that, dear we say, may be on the verge of becoming obsolete as old-fashioned cigarette smoking becomes less socially acceptable and passé. As cigarettes go the way of the Walkman, there’s been an explosion of e-cigarettes, or e-cigs. In this article, we consider how to trademark an e-cig brand name.

E-Cig Trademark Registration
Everything is electronic these days – we have the iPhone, iTunes, and iRobot, email, e-commerce and eHarmony, so why not cigarettes? As traditional tobacco companies have taken a beating from health related lawsuits and settlements and increasing restrictions on where one can actually smoke, the electronic cigarette has arrived just in time to fill the void. E-cigarettes and personal vaporizers (vapes) are becoming increasingly popular, with retail outlets popping up everywhere, in real life and online, offering an expanding array of brands, styles and selections. The e-cigs industry is red-hot and this means increased competition for market share. How can you establish your e-cigarette, vaporizer or e-liquid company as a market leader in the e-cig space? Since most of these products do essentially the same thing, it’s of vital importance to establish a brand name for your e-cig or vape product as early as possible to stand out from the competition.

We offer a few bits of advice for trademarking a vaporizer or e-cig product:

Like any other product or service, it’s best to start with a trademark search to see if the trademark name you want to use on your e-cigs or vaporizers is already registered or in use by someone else. If it is, you could face legal action from the trademark owner or risk refusal at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) when you apply for registration. Best to choose a name that is clearly available and unlike any other e-cig brands out there.

When choosing a trademark name for your e-cigs or vaporizers, avoid using descriptive or generic words, such as e-cigarette, vape, vaporizer, e-liquid, e-juice or other terms that describe your goods. Some of the best trademark names are arbitrary (BLU) or suggestive (White Cloud), not obvious.

Avoid creating a false association with established brands. The standard of review for trademarks is whether two or more similar trademarks, when used in connection with particular goods or services, may create a likelihood of confusion in the marketplace. All trademark owners must be weary of this rule. However, when it comes to cigarettes, some popular brands that offer completely unrelated goods or services may be extra cautious to protect their name from any association with cigarettes or smoking. Examples include the Girl Scouts of the USA and Tootsie Roll Industries Inc. sending cease and desist letters to stop the use of “Thin Mints” and “Tootsie Roll,” respectively, on e-cigarettes. Not only is that trademark infringement, it creates an unfavorable impression that you are marketing towards children.

If you have any questions about trademark protection for your e-cig or vaporizer name, or for assistance in starting the trademark process, contact us for a complimentary consultation, (800) 769-7790, or via email, info@flatfeetrademark.com.



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