Paul Llewellyn Offers Insights on How to Avoid Trademark Litigation in Inc.
Inc. reports that yogurt company Chobani is engaged in a legal battle with author Dov Seidman over Seidman’s trademark for the word “How.” Seidman, who has authored numerous books that prominently feature the word “how” in their titles, recently sued Chobani for launching an ad campaign called “How Matters,” after Chobani acknowledged via social media that Seidman had used similar concepts previously. Chobani retaliated by applying to trademark the phrase “How Matters” and requesting that a judge cancel Seidman’s trademark.
In order to avoid landing in a similar situation as a business owner, Kaye Scholer Partner Paul Llewellyn, Head of the firm’s Trademark, Copyright & False Advertising practice, recommends that you ask a lawyer to order and review a trademark clearance prior to adopting a trademark or any related slogans or phrases pertaining to it. This will assist you in identifying any possible pre-existing rights that could result in litigation. According to Llewellyn, that includes both federal and common law uses of marks and phrases, as well as any pending applications.