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Ask Thomas Swartz Your Own Question
Thomas Swartz
Thomas Swartz, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3171
Experience:  Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
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I have been doing business in the health/ beauty products

Customer Question

I have been doing business in the health/ beauty products industry as Dr. sofskin's. While I have been using a TM I did not register it.
I received notification from a company with the TM Sofskin that they object to my name.
I could fight it, but it is easier to change my name.(unless you see no need.)
Are any (or all) of these different enough? Note the spelling of each, they are similar.
Dr. Soskin's
Dr. Sofkin's
dr. Sofkind's
Dr. Soskind's
Dr. sofskin's
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Thomas Swartz replied 1 year ago.

Hello Zack,

Of the options you listed, I would say that your best chance to register your own trademark would be with Dr. Soskin's or Dr. Soskind's.

And yes, I do believe that there is a need to change your name to avoid trademark infringement litigation. The issue in a trademark infringement litigation is whether there would be a likelihood of consumer confusion as to the source of the goods represented by the trademark.

In your current situation, there is the existing mark "Sofskin." And when one reads this mark what obviously comes to mind is the idea of soft skin. I would think that any mark similar to this which makes one think of soft skin would cause consumer confusion. Your current use of Dr. Sofskin's does bring the idea of soft skin to mind with the addition that there is a doctor of soft skin.

However, the alternatives of Dr. Soskin's or Dr. Soskind's really don't bring to mind the idea of soft skin. These spellings would be pronounced very differently from soft skin. And they don't really imply that there is a doctor of soft skin. I believe that they are significantly different from "Softskin" that the trademark examiner should grant you a trademark of either of these names.

I would recommend that you file trademark applications for either of these names.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Thomas.
To clarify, you do feel Sofkind's (my first choice) is too similar?
Expert:  Thomas Swartz replied 1 year ago.

I would be concerned about "Sofkind's" because it does have that "Sof" which implies soft. I think the others I mentioned are safer.