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Mistakes in choosing a brand name in the U.S.

Why name research is crucial to launching a brand in the U.S. market: the Kardashian case

On June 21, Kim Kardashian debuted her new skincare brand, SKKN By Kim, in the United States. However, there has been no shortage of controversy since the launch in the U.S. market.

SKKN by Kim is facing a number of issues regarding the brand name, including accusations of trademark infringement: there is already an American company holding the name "SKKN+" offering beauty services in Brooklyn. SKKN+ sent an initial cease and desist letter in the summer of 2021, and the legal dispute has remained heated ever since.

In short, although it is undeniable that everything she touches turns to gold, Kim Kardashian's actions are a prime example of how naming is indeed a creative act but more importantly a long-term strategy for the protection and success of new brands in the United States.

Trademark registration in America

The Kim Kardashian case is a prime example of how naming is primarily a strategy to protect the brand in the United States

Beauty Concepts LLC, the American company that owns the SKKN+ brand, has been operating in Brooklyn since 2018 and filed the trademark in 2021, just days before Kim Kardashian. In the United States, one can register a trademark only after having already used it commercially, and ownership rights arise the moment the brand name appears on the market.

Although ownership rights are granted to the company from before the trademark is registered, registering a trademark years after entering the U.S. market is not very convenient, especially if one has to prove that ownership. Nevertheless, it is essential to register the trademark in the United States because this protects the company from competitors who might use the same name and guarantees the brand a long and peaceful existence in the market.

Let us return, then, to Kim Kardashian. We are certain that the company's branding department was unaware of the existence of brand names similar to SKKN By Kim, yet it must be pointed out that if proper checks had been carried out on registered names and naming regulations for the U.S. today, Kardashian's brand could sell in the U.S. market without any problems or legal disputes to be resolved.

The difference between "good naming" and "bad naming" for brand launching in America

How to avoid infringing a trademark's rights in the U.S.? By checking whether the trademark is filed with the USPTO

In order to avoid being in the same situation as Kim Kardashian, those who want to launch a brand in the United States should perform a thorough business research beforehand, possibly getting help from a lawyer or trademark expert in America. In other words, it is best to forget about Google and social media because they may provide incorrect or insufficient information, forcing the company to change brand names or even give away some or all of the profits already made.

At ExportUSA, we can assist you in launching your brand in the U.S. market from the brand naming stage all the way to the filing of the application for trademark registration in the United States. With proper attention to detail the legal risks associated with brand naming in America will be nothing more than bad dreams.

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