— Paul Sloan (@PaulSloan) August 21, 2013
I was reading through my Twitter feed this evening when the tweet above from journalist Paul Sloan caught my eye. According to an article on CNet, a company called Telepathy raised “$5 million to develop Google Glass rival.” The tweet got my attention because Nat Cohen’s domain investment and monetization company is called Telepathy.
After clicking through to the article, I could immediately tell that it had nothing to do with Nat’s Telepathy, but it was about another company that is also called Telepathy. Unfortunately for this startup, they are using the sub-optimal Tele-pathy.org domain name for its website. Interestingly, Telepathy.org is registered to a different company, but that domain name does not yet resolve.
Telepathy is a generic term, so there may not be trademark issues with this company using the Telepathy brand name in that particular vertical (I am not an IP expert). However, if their funding leads them to develop a popular smart glasses type of product and they market it under their brand name, there will surely be confusion when potential buyers visit Nat’s (long) developed website. If and when that happens, they will either have to buy Nat’s brand name for a lot of money (if he’d even consider selling it) or risk confusing consumers.
It’s an interesting brand decision from this startup.