Creating brand names similar to popular ones. Do you consider it viable?

server

Member
I can see some web hosting sites advertised on this forum ("Hivalidity", "Hostwinks") that are so similar to popular brands. They look almost like "Hivelocity" and "Hostwinds" - or is it just me? Is it worth the risk and do you think such approach will be viable and beneficial in the long run?
 

NocRoom

Member
Interesting question, I think branding similar to another but popular brand could be beneficial. Especially if you have an option to re-brand in the future.
 

bigredseo

HD Community Advisor
Staff member
Not worth it - especially if a court gets involved and you lose any marketing or promotion dollars you spent.

Even just the hint that it's similar, in the same market, that's a recipe for disaster.

We've had people add a letter to a business name, or spell it with an i instead of an e, and when we proceeded with legal action, we (or our client), has won in each case. And if there's a trademark involved in any way, it's an easy slam dunk case (along with taking their domain and redirecting it to our client's site) :)

Don't risk it, people like me, and lawyers more powerful than ours, will eat you alive.
 

S4 Hosting

Active member
Yeah, there is no place where this is a great idea.

Ethically deeply questionable, legally likely to end badly, and also I think it creates pretty negative pubic/customer perception.
 

server

Member
We've had people add a letter to a business name, or spell it with an i instead of an e, and when we proceeded with legal action, we (or our client), has won in each case. And if there's a trademark involved in any way, it's an easy slam dunk case (along with taking their domain and redirecting it to our client's site) :)

Don't risk it, people like me, and lawyers more powerful than ours, will eat you alive.
You are absolutely right. Trademark/brand wars are extremely expensive.

The question was rather directed to people applying such a questionable practices, like @natan - why are they doing this and what do they expect?
 

bigredseo

HD Community Advisor
Staff member
No idea on what the motives are for @natan but with others it's lack of business experience. I'm not saying that's the deal for Natan, I'm speaking about generalities.

Anyone can create a hosting company online and put up a front. Sometimes it's done by people who have no clue what the business world can do to them. We see it with webmasters stealing images or content - how would you like to get a $3,000 court judgment and your site removed from Google (DMCA) for using an image I created :) Yes, I've done that. Yes, I've won.

Getting it publicly registered doesn't require much more than a payment of fees too. Usually, there's some background check with regards to the name and the industry, but if you're in a different country and the other company hasn't established an LLC/LTD (etc) in your country, then it would pass without issue. Still, you can be liable for infringement even though you have an LLC/LTD registered.

Personally, the last thing I'd want to do is associate myself with ANY other company. We are different, it's why we're in business. The last thing I'd want is any confusion over my brand vs someone else, and them reaping the rewards of our service etc. It works both ways.
 
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