Two famous brands that share a single brand name? Impossible, right? Surely, trademark law would prevent one company or product from stealing the brand name of another.
But it happens all the time. Two brands can easily use the same name when they’re using it for different goods and services, thereby reducing the likelihood of customer confusion. In other words, you probably wouldn’t confuse Dove (beauty products) and Dove Chocolate, since they sell in entirely different categories. Nor would you accidentally buy Domino magazine thinking it’s about pizza.
Note, however, that just because two brands in unrelated categories can share a name doesn’t mean it’s a good branding decision. Using the same name as a famous brand can negatively impact SEO, for example. There are also limits to the “different category” guideline—some names are considered so famous (e.g., Coca-Cola), that they can effectively prevent anyone from using them, even in an entirely unrelated class of goods and services. (In other words, you won’t be able to name your sock company “Coca-Cola socks.”)
Dove and Dove Chocolate are oft-shared examples of famous brands that share a brand name, but they’re not the only “brand twins.” Below, we’ve started a list of examples. Can you think of others we should add? If so, drop a note in the comments.
Examples of brands that share a brand name
|Apple (consumer electronics)
|Dove (beauty products)
Canon EOS (camera)
|Graco (fluid management products)
Graco (baby accessories)
|Morningstar (financial services)
MorningStar Farms (vegetarian foods)
|Thomas Pink Limited (AKA Pink Shirtmaker)
Pink (Victoria's Secret sub-brand)
United Van Lines
Note: The author of this post is not an attorney. This article about trademark law is for informational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice for any individual matter, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship between you and the author or publisher. For further questions, speak to a licensed attorney who is familiar with trademark law.
This Useful List will be updated periodically with new list items. Please share any suggested additions in the comments section.