Can I take a trademarked name and add to it to create my own trademarked name?

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Can I take a trademarked name and add to it to create my own trademarked name?

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Asked on February 21, 2017 under Business Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't do this: trademark includes the sole right to create adapted, derivative, or modified versions of the trademark. Taking a trademark and adding to it would be a violation or infringement of that trademark. You can use individual words from the trademark, if those words are themselves common or generic (e.g. instead of "Simon Says" in your example, you could very possibly do "Sally Says," using the word "Says," so long as the graphics, design, look, etc. are not close enough to the "Simon Says" mark as to infringe), but not the entirety of the trademark. 


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