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I'm a 1-woman independent developer who made an app called Front Jacuzzi Back Corgi - or FJBC for short. Today, I received a trademark infringement notice from Jacuzzi.com

It's unexpectedly not from the App Store, but from Google Play.

trademark_explain: Unauthorized use of the JACUZZI Trademark within the App that misleads the users into falsely believing that the developer is a manufacturer, licensee, or authorized user of Jacuzzi Inc’s. trademarks, or that Jacuzzi Inc. has endorsed or sponsored the App and or its associated websites, and any third party website.

My usage of jacuzzi seems to be the dictionary non-Jacuzzi.com branded version. Nothing in my app even remotely looks like things from jacuzzi.com ...

But, are there other conditions that I should be aware of?

Arguably, my app merely simulates the feel of a jacuzzi resort - and does not even include a jacuzzi. Technical people have criticized my water effects for not actually looking like a jacuzzi. The audio recording is actually not from a jacuzzi either.

Any advice is appreciated - esp on how to respond. Thank you

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In trying to come up with a name to stick with, I've encountered a lot of dictionary words such as jet and jets that turn out to be trademarked? How would you suggest I make sure the re-name would be okay? Previously, I had searched to make sure Front Jacuzzi wasn't used as a name, but was not aware that jacuzzi had a trademark meaning beyond that defined in m-w.com

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Quit using the word Jacuzzi. That word is a brand name for a specific maker of hot tubs like Ford is for cars and not just a term for a hot tub.

This happens so much to them that they have a site devoted to it. https://www.jacuzzi.com/baths/support/trademark-use/

  • It's a dictionary word - merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Jacuzzi – ina Apr 30 at 22:59
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    That just means it is widely used. The word is still a brand name. – Putvi Apr 30 at 23:00
  • I read that and I don't fully understand it - does it mean add a ® each time the word jacuzzi is used? – ina Apr 30 at 23:05
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    If you use it in a sentence, yes. However they do not want you to use in the title, because it sounds like you are saying its part of their company. Just say hot tub. – Putvi Apr 30 at 23:06
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Many trademarked terms are in dictionaries. Merriam-Webster lists "kodak" as a verb. Look at how dictionaries list a term:

All define "jacuzzi" as a brand name or trademark. Other dictionaries note that it is named for the inventor, who presumably left or sold his rights to the current company. I suspect that you will have a hard time establishing that there is a generic meaning for this term, since you are using it in exactly the sense for which there is trademark protection.

If you want to continue using this term, you would be wise to at least include a prominent statement that you are not affiliated with or authorized by Jacuzzi Inc in any way, and that "Jacuzzi" is a trademark of theirs, which you are using only to describe such a device.

However, if you can find and use a different term, such as "whirlpool" or "jet bath" you might be safer. Using the term as part of the name of your app is particularly likely to imply some sort of affiliation, and therefore to be trademark infringement.

You should consider consulting a lawyer with trademark expertise in your jurisdiction. Trademark laws and trademark protections very significantly by country.

  • Yes, use a different name. – Putvi Apr 30 at 23:21
  • Would Jet or Jets be subject to the same trademark law though? it seems there are various trademarks on jets... – ina May 1 at 8:36
  • It looks like Jetted Tub is also a trademark... – ina May 1 at 8:39
  • Whirlpool is a trademark too....? – ina May 1 at 8:39
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    @ina. Whirlpool is a generic dictionary word first, and a trademark second. They took an English word and trademarked it (in a specific domain). Jacuzzi is a trademark first. Any other usage derives from the trademark. law.stackexchange.com/a/40605/372. – TRiG May 1 at 15:54

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