Cognate's Trademark Blog

Are We Running Out of Names to Trademark Global Companies

An interesting report from Bloomberg on the back of Yahoo! Inc’s rebranding to Altaba Inc.”


There’s some discussion about global company re-branding but what’s of more interest is the reference of the following quote by  corporate-identity consultant Tony Spaeth

There is a numeric limit to the universe of names, the combinations of letters of five syllables or less that are pronounceable, avoid offense in principal languages, and are not someone else’s property. A population explosion of business entities, on top of product proliferation, means we are rapidly depleting the supply. And as more companies think “global,” more seek global name protection, vastly increasing the pool of possible conflicts.


So are we running out? “It is getting harder to find names that are significantly better than something like a Cendant or an Altaba,” Placek said. “It’s not impossible.” At Lexicon, coping with the shrinking number of available names has meant investing ever more in legal and technological resources to screen names, and using artificial intelligence, linguistics research and other tools to pick better ones.


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