Smart thinking to beat the downturn


Ross Bulla

Discretion is essential when acquiring and registering trademarks, trade names and domain names on behalf of organisations that are rebranding their products and services, explains Ross Bulla.

As the severity of the economic downturn became apparent, many of Treadstone’s corporate clients, particularly those in the financial, banking and insurance industries, were acquired or began to evaluate ways to mitigate and manage reputational risks. As part of their crisis response plans, some chose to launch informational websites targeting individual or institutional investors and borrowers, while others chose to rebrand key business units, products or services. A few rebranded entirely.

When government leaders, regulators and consumers were questioning perceived extravagances and wasteful spending, any attempt to clear, acquire and register trademarks, service marks, trade names, corporate names, domain names and vanity telephone numbers required absolute discretion and frugality.

When clients identified potential conflicts or blocks to registering their proposed corporate or trade names, domain names or vanity telephone numbers (e.g. 800-NEWNAME), Treadstone directly, or indirectly through holding companies, contacted the owners and negotiated the acquisition of the rights. In some cases, it was necessary to acquire homophone (sound-alike) trademarks or typographical error equivalents (for example, or, too.

registering trademarks, domain names, Treadstone