I’m a 17 year-old student from France and I built a small-time web app in 2015 that allows high-school juniors and seniors like me to give them an estimate of their final grade at the exams (French baccalauréat). Another app with the same functionality and the exact same name appeared a few days ago. Now there are plenty of apps like mine out there that do what mine does so functionality isn't a problem at all, but it really bothers me that my app name was used by someone else for the same purpose. The name isn’t legally registered with the INPI (French equivalent for the USPTO), but this situation really bothers me.
What can I do? I was thinking about sending a polite email asking if the person could maybe change the name, is this the way to go?


If your mark is descriptive in nature (e.g., Best Site Ever), it's not unusual to find overlapping names in the same product space. As there are only so many short descriptions available of the same product or service.

But even if your name is a non-descriptive, abstract phrase (e.g., Apple, Google, etc.) it is unlikely that your brand carries enough cachet in your space to really damage you. Unless your brand is really well known by your potential customer base.

In any event, if you are serious about pursuing the matter, and you believe you have a legitimate infringement claim, in the U.S. the first step would be to have an attorney draft and send a Cease and Desist Letter and maybe demand some payment to settle the claim.

Click here for a sample letter and discussion of it by an attorney.

However, infringement suits can get quite expensive very quickly so you should consider that. For example, the attorney in the above link charges $500 just to analyze, draft and send the letter. Litigation costs can easily get into the six figures range.

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