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Author Topic: Comparative Advertising question, to avoid Copyright Infringement.  (Read 1433 times)


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Thankyou for coming by. I appreciate valuable input.

Here's my situation. Please advise if one can.

I have a new line that is becoming successful.

I'm adding a new product to it.

Can I do this (I've explained below), to show my customers that I make the SAME product as a more established company who has branded the real name of the same plant product as I sell, but they're just using a fake name. They even list the back of their ingredients with the real name that I will sell under.

To start:>>>>>>>>

i) I use the real 100% scientific Botanical name of the same product and it's listed on my front label, plus it's listed as such in the back ingredients label.

2) The other company uses a branded "fake" name on the front of their bottle but identifies the real scientific Botanical name of the same plant I use on the back of their label in ingredients.

We're selling the same product. I'm doing it under the real name, I'm new, it's not out yet, they are selling it under a branded name that is quite popular but again, in the back of their label, we are both selling 100% the same product.

To make it easier I'm calling their branded fake name "blah blah blah".

Here's my questions:>

What I wanted to say on my front label OR website if I can't put it on my label front is, "this is the actual scientific Botanical name of "blah blah blah."

-To show the public it's the same plant product as this other company.

- If you look at my ingredients and theirs in the back of the bottle, we are selling the exact same plant product and base. 100%.

2)This company (I'm now thinking quite wisely) put a fictional name of "blah blah blah" on a real plant. When you see the ingredients on the back of their bottle, it actually names the same botanical name of the same plant product and base that I sell. It's the exact same product.

3) But they've branded the front label name "blah blah blah" as a fictional name of the actual Botanical name of the plant they list on the back.

4)This is why I'm curious if it's actual infringement as I'm not stating my product contains their fictional name.

- I'm simply pointing out, I am using the exact same plant product they sell, but advertising it on my front label using it's real, scientific name.

Make sense?

5) I'm trying to guide my customers to check out the ingredient labels in the back of mine and their plant product bottle to compare so they can in fact see it's exactly the same thing.

i) QUESTION:> is Trademark infringement?

ii) QUESTION:> Is this Comparative Advertising?

6)If I still lay in muddy water........if not product label would it be safe to advertise these comparison facts on my website. Simply stating this is the scientific Botanical name of the exact plant used in the product called "blah blah blah"? And if you check the ingredients of "blah blah blah", you will see they list the botanical name as the ingredient in mine.

7) Last, it sounds to me like this company knew what they were doing branding in such a way.

From a customers perspective, how is one to know that they can in fact buy the exact same thing from a different company for a less expensive price if they don't know, the real name of "blah blah blah" in order to source it.

-Many think the branded name is the authentic name of the plant. It's not. Therefore, in order to compare pricing they won't find "blah blah blah" showing up anywhere in a search other than the other companie's website of course that comes up with that branded the fake name.

From a new maker and distributor of it, how can I tell the public I'm selling the same plant product but under it's real scientific name. Here in lies the conundrum and what I'm trying to work around.

I VALUE your input. Sincerely. It's a learning curve for me. I do appreciate it.

« Last Edit: 02-16-17 at 04:05 am by Vancouvergirl »

Robert T Nicholson

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Yes, you can do this, but you need to be careful with your wording.

For example, don't say "botanical is the real botanical name of blah blah blah" - that implies that your product IS blah blah blah.

Instead, say something like "botanical name is the primary ingredient in products such as blah blah blah.

Include the trademark notice for blah blah blah, and state that you are not associated with blah blah blah company.

In other words, don't leave any room for confusion in the mind of the purchaser.

This post is provided for information purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice.

Robert Nicholson Consulting | Copyright Safeguard | ED Treatment Center


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Hi, I don't have anything specific to add to Artchain's information above.  But I note from your selected handle that you're probably in Canada, and I think I recall that comparative advertising is at least somewhat more restrained in CA than in US. 

So you also might want to do some general searching of comparative advertising, with an eye toward any particular limitations or requirements in Canada.

Here's a more or less popular press article with some guidelines typ information.  Also, websites of well-known IP firms in Canada such as Smart & Biggar or Gowlings are likely to have additional good information.


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