Brand News: Why is a Secretary of State Filing Not Enough?

In a prior post I mentioned that your brand could have troubles if you thought organizing your company with the Secretary of State gave you permission to use your company name as a brand. This post unpacks one of the reasons for this.

Brand Protection primarily concerns whether or not brands used by different companies would cause confusion among consumers. This is a detailed analysis and Secretaries of State cannot perform this review for every company in their state.

When a Secretary of State determines that you cannot use a name as a company name, it is not saying that you could not use that name as a brand. Customer confusion involves determining the similarities of the brand names, and the relatedness of the products or services sold under the name. The Secretary of State is only checking the name itself, and not the types of businesses the companies perform.

As an example, if Delta  (the faucet company) organized in my state under the name “Delta, Inc.,” my state would not allow Delta (the airline) to organize under the same name.  However, the faucet company could not prevent the airline from calling itself Delta.

Brands can be tricky. Some professionals can make them powerful to grow your business. I protect them to make sure you  are the only one who benefits from your hard work.