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The question is very simple, does the trademarking of a name, mean that they own that trademark in every language?

For instance, Windows is a trademarked product that has their namesake trademarked to protect against unauthorized usage. Could I then trademark the name sake Fenestrae? For those less versed in classical languages, "Fenestrae" is the Latin word for "Windows".

What laws or consequences might I face from doing such a thing? Would I even be able to trademark the namesake?

  • But your terminology is slightly off. Windows is a trademark, not a "trademarked product." Windows is also a product whose name is a registered trademark. The trademark is the name Windows itself, used to denote the product. A trademark can also be a design, or even just a color (UPS claims "the color brown" for example). A trademark is a kind of mark that is used to identify a product or service, not the product or service itself. – phoog Jul 14 '16 at 14:23
  • Having said that, I expect that you would be allowed to register a competing trademark in Latin. There are probably examples of this already. – phoog Jul 14 '16 at 14:26
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    You start by asking whether you can claim protection of a trademark's translation in another language, which is a good and interesting question. But sometime in the second paragraph you shift to asking whether you can even use the translation as a trademark, which as far as I can tell is just a "how do I establish a trademark?" question. – feetwet Jul 15 '16 at 18:30
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The purpose of a trade mark is to protect consumers from confusion.

This is assessed on the facts of the alleged infringement as to weather a reasonable person would confuse the goods and services provided by business A as being associated with business B by use of the mark by A.

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There have been cases where the conversion is protected between the language specific characters and English characters. Remember you need to look at jurisdiction and what people in that jurisdiction will remember etc.

In Australia the test of deceptive similarity is one of a person being caused to wonder if one product originates from the other trader (having in mind the trademark). Clearly when conversions occur - that confusion can occur.

We had a major case about a foreign word (an Italian word) that went to the High Court (our highest court). Basically it came down to the number of people in Australia that would recognise that word as having its meaning. The other issue with the case was that when translated the word was descriptive (it indicated quality) - descriptive words like that aren't trademarkable in Australia as other traders should be able to use them. So that is why they looked at the population to see how many would know the true meaning.

And I just read that Disney owns the TM for Hakuna Matata - meaning no worries- think Lion King.

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