Trademark News & Screw-ups Insurance giant Marsh and a tech startup are having a trademark row over the word marshmallow

Lesson here: don't name your startup anything remotely similar to the the 8-ton gorilla in your industry—even if your lawyers say you might get away with that. Remember, lawyers will always find a way to rationalize how you should not have relied on their opinion as a carte blanche to pick a particular name for your startup. Heck, these same lawyers will gladly record more billable hours as they heroically defend you against the multi-billion-dollar bully. The great thing about startups is they sprout on the marketplace and disrupt the status quo. They innovate. They make former industry giants obsolete. And by the time yesterday's leaders realize their ship has sailed it's often too late. So why in the world would you give market incumbents with billions of dollars in their pockets an easy way to ruin your startup through trademark litigation? They don't need to be right, they don't need to win. All they need is a semblance of a case against you so it doesn't get thrown away on the spot. And then, they're going to make sure you spend more money than you have on lawyers and, more importantly, they're going to make sure your focus switches from innovating and disrupting to fighting a totally unnecessary battle. The name you pick will not make you rich unless you own it. But it can easily make you broke.

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Disclaimer: Please note that this post and this video are not and are not intended as legal advice. Your situation may be different from the facts assumed in this post or video. Your reading this post or watching this video does not create a lawyer-client relationship between you and Trademark Factory International Inc., and you should not rely on this post or this video as the only source of information to make important decisions about your intellectual property.