Potential brand name assessment
Thread poster: Jack Corrigall

Jack Corrigall  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:45
Member (2010)
German to English
Sep 22, 2010

Hi,

I have been asked by a regular agency to provide a price and time quote for assessing the potential negative connotations of a brand name for the UK. This is not something that I have done before and feel that it could be as long as you want it to be (anything from google and library research to research into previous patents and organizing focus groups of different ages). I am aware that there are probably experts specializing in exactly this kind of thing and I do not want to undercut them. I am also a little concerned as to the potential liability for such a job and whether it is covered by my professional liability insurance - something that I am currently looking into.

Any advice and /or suggestions of experts that I might be able to pass onto my agency would be greatly appreciated.


 

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 17:45
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Linguistic consultant Sep 22, 2010

I have done many of such jobs as requested by a UK agency. I did not find any special liability or other legal/linguistic issues. Just do as guided by the agency: they aim at specific view points to each client.

Soonthon Lupkitaro


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:45
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
No liability Sep 22, 2010

You are merely giving your professional opinion about a name, not legal advice. Legal advice and legal consequences of a name (like violation of trademarks, existence of other companies operating with that name or with products named that way etc.) is the work of a counsel most probably hired as well for this.

I do this kind of work regularly and I think that your responsibility stays mainly on the linguistic side, i.e.:
- Is the name easy to pronounce, spell and remember in your market?
- Does the name have a direct meaning when read in your language?
- Does the name resemble other words (good or bad) or do other words (good or bad) immediately come to mind when you read the name?
- Do you see any negative meaning or a meaning that would be incompatible with the kind of service or product at stake?

On the trademark side, you could perhaps:
- Google the name within your country (or the EU, probably) to try to find people, companies, products, and names called the same or almost the same way.
- I would definitely do this: check the OAMI's databases for the name.

I hope this helps!

Edited to add this: I would definitely charge by the hour, and all the time you spend doing this. The time required will depend on the complexity and breadth of the information required by your customer. Some customers require only a quick Good/Bad assessment, while others require a multi-page report with details about your research and its outcome.

[Edited at 2010-09-22 10:34 GMT]


 

Jack Corrigall  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:45
Member (2010)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
dialects etc. Sep 22, 2010

Thanks for your help. On the subject of liability I was thinking - what if your assessment of whether it has negative connotations is wrong? Would professional liability for translation cover assessment of the implications of one word within a single language. Also, negative connotations that are missed are often those that are colloquial - something that is not well documented (and therefore difficult to research) and very specific to particular age groups, social groups and regional groups. By definition you cannot be a part of all of these, so surely a thorough and professional assessment demands consultation of these groups. If you didn't and there was a problem, might this not be seen as professional negligence?

 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:45
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Still no liability Sep 22, 2010

8transl8 wrote:
Thanks for your help. On the subject of liability I was thinking - what if your assessment of whether it has negative connotations is wrong? Would professional liability for translation cover assessment of the implications of one word within a single language. Also, negative connotations that are missed are often those that are colloquial - something that is not well documented (and therefore difficult to research) and very specific to particular age groups, social groups and regional groups. By definition you cannot be a part of all of these, so surely a thorough and professional assessment demands consultation of these groups. If you didn't and there was a problem, might this not be seen as professional negligence?

In my opinion you worry too much! icon_smile.gif Personally I would go as far as reasonably possible based on your knowledge as a linguist (you are not a lawyer after all, are you?) and the time allotted to the task by your customer (i.e. how many hours they allow/pay you for this). You could as well add a line to your delivery email saying that your "liability for any damages related to the result of this research and the contents of the report supplied will be limited to the amount received in exchange of this service. The customer is expressly advised to seek the assistance of a law firm about the suitability of the researched name in relation to trademarks, records in the Companies House, registered service and product names and brands, patents, etc.."

And of course, the best person you can discuss this with is naturally your customer. If you have doubts about the extent of the work they expect from you and whether they have other people checking the legal side of things, you should definitely ask them!

[Edited at 2010-09-22 11:23 GMT]


 

Jack Corrigall  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:45
Member (2010)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Sep 22, 2010

Thanks for your help. That is very useful.

 


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