I'm trying to start an app in the skin care category. I'm trying to come up with names, and one of the ones I'm considering is Bree.

However, when I search USPTO for "Bree", I see a ton of results: http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=toc&state=4809%3Aux0o5h.1.1&p_search=searchss&p_L=50&BackReference=&p_plural=yes&p_s_PARA1=&p_tagrepl%7E%3A=PARA1%24LD&expr=PARA1+AND+PARA2&p_s_PARA2=bree&p_tagrepl%7E%3A=PARA2%24COMB&p_op_ALL=AND&a_default=search&a_search=Submit+Query&a_search=Submit+Query

I even see repeats of "Bree". Does that mean I can start the app without having to worry about trademark issues?

The most active one is by bree.com, but that's selling bags: http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4808:mdl1q0.2.26

  • Are any of the 'competitors' in or near the skincare field? – Tim Lymington Jul 23 '19 at 21:53
  • Nope I do not see any relevant apps or websites called Bree or anything close to it – bigpotato Jul 23 '19 at 21:54
  • your link brings up a page that says it is an expired trademark search – George White Jul 24 '19 at 1:08

As a general principal, under US law (and that of several other countries as well, but I am less sure there) trademarks are protected only in the field/industry in which they are actually used in trade. Protection is also limited by the geographic area in which trademarks are used in trade. There is an exception for "famous" or "widely known" trademarks which get additional protection.

So a trademark for "Avalon" as a brand of beer would not prevent using "Avalon" as a motor oil, say. It might prevent using "Avalon" as a wine label.

However, weather any of the existing trademarks "Bree" is close enough for your use to be an infringement would require a trademark lawyer or other expert to answer.

If you are able to register your proposed trademark successfully, you will have good reason to think it is not infringing. of course in the US (unlike some countries) a trademark can gain some protection from mere use without registration, and you may wish to go that route (lower fees).

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  • Thanks! Because I'm a small fry and I'm not that in love with Bree, I'm just going to go with a different name – bigpotato Jul 24 '19 at 20:41

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