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Alex Reese
Alex Reese, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 3106
Experience:  Experienced in intellectual property law
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I would like trademark a new company name "HBS Accept", a MBA

Customer Question

I would like trademark a new company name "HBS Accept", a MBA admissions consulting firm. As far as I can tell, no one has registered "HBS" or "HBS Accept". It will be very clear that the goal of the new company will be to help applicants get into Harvard Business School (a registered trademark). Does "HBS Accept" infringe on any IP of Harvard Business School?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  Alex Reese replied 2 years ago.
hello. well there are no clear answers on a question like this because 1) TM law is fuzzy, no clear rules and 2) whether it is infringement or not is almost always subject to debate and will depend on whether Harvard becomes aware of your use and if so to what extent THEY think it is an infringement and whether it is one that they want to pursue. So it's hard to say, but the legal rule for TM infringement is whether your use of "HBS" in that context causes a "likelihood of consumer confusion" i.e. whether consumers are likely to be confused into thinking that "HBS Accept" is somehow affiliated with or sponsored by Harvard. Adding disclaimers and making clear that there is no connection is wise and may help prevent confusion / infringement, but disclaimers alone do not get you in the clear....there can still be alleged infringement just in the name itself and its use.
Expert:  Alex Reese replied 2 years ago.
so the disclaimers will help, but may not be enough....Harvard may still take issue with it, but obviously there's no way to tell what they might think and do as a result.