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Richard - Bizlaw
Richard - Bizlaw, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 9709
Experience:  30 years of corporate, litigation and international law
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Hi Richard, Four years ago you answered my question regarding

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Hi Richard,

Four years ago you answered my question regarding selling cosmetics under the brand name Smitten Cosmetics, which slightly overlapped with a skincare line called Smitten Essence that operates exclusively in Australia. The inquiry and response can be found here:

So you know, I have not done anything with the Smitten Cosmetics DBA license. Now, the Australian company has changed its name to Smitten Cosmetics and has expanded its line to include color cosmetics (which I had planned on selling). I only know about the name change because the company's vendors have been emailing me via (my website) instead of (their website). The company still only sells and ships to Australian consumers, but I wonder if I should go ahead and trademark the name in the U.S. or if I should rename and rebrand my materials before going to market in order to save time, money and frustration. The thing is, I really like the identity I've created specifically for the brand name Smitten Cosmetics and I don't want to change it if I can help it.

From an objective standpoint, I don't believe the other brand has that much staying power, but then again, I might not, either. Do you think it prudent to go forward in trademarking the name in the United States (where I intend to sell - I understand the trademark won't actually be in effect until I start selling products) now and work towards bringing the products to fruition?

Thank you for your time!

Richard :

Hello, I will try to help you. Please remember I just report or interpret the law, so the outcome may not be what you hoped for. Thanks for asking for me. I will review the prior discussion in the morning and get back to you then. When do you think you will be ready to start marketing your product in the US and in what states? Will you be marketing online?

Richard :

I looked at the prior question which brings me up to speed. If you proceed to trademark your name you can do as I said in my original post. My concern is more practical than legal. You are already seeing confusion between your site and the Australian site. Is there a name that you might consider just as good as the d/b/a you have to avoid the headache that you are already experiencing even before you begin your marketing. That distraction can detract from your ability to rapidly expand your brand under your own unique name. Another option is to trademark Smitten Cosmetics but market it under your own unique brand name. So you could have a unique brand name called "Channel" and Smitten Cosmetics by Channel would be how it is marketed. You own the domain name for Smitten Cosmetics and you could have all traffic to that site directed to your Chanel site. This is an option you might consider.

Richard :

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Thanks, Richard; I wouldn't have thought to structure the marketing this way! I greatly appreciate your advice.

Richard - Bizlaw and 3 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
If you have more questions please ask for me. Let me know how you make out on the approach I suggested.