Many of us just use the name that’s on the fragrance oil bottle from our supplier when naming your candles. While that is usually perfectly fine, there are cases where you cannot use that particular fragrance name.
Usually fragrance oil suppliers will have “Type” after the fragrance name if it is a popular name brand fragrance which could mean it is trademarked. That’s not always the case though, as I’ve looked up a few that had the word “Type” next to it and didn’t find a trademark on them.
A few examples of popular fragrances that are trademarked however are…..
Love Spell by Victoria’s Secret
Cotton Blossom by Bath and Body Works
Clean Cotton by Yankee Candles
Buttercream by Yankee Candles
Fragrance oil suppliers put “Type” on the end of popular fragrance names so you know that it is a dupe of that fragrance. They are able to use the name for their fragrance oils because the trademark for a fragrance like Love Spell is for use in candles, not the fragrance oil itself, so the supplier/oil manufacturer is allowed to use the name.
After reading some incorrect information a few years ago, I used to think that if you just put “Type” after the name then it would be fine, but after doing more research I’ve found that that is not the case. You can, however, add that it is “comparable to Love Spell by VS” or some similar wording.
Just because a name is trademarked doesn’t always mean you can’t use it though. If you do a search on TESS (US Trademark Electronic Search System , you’ll find that Cotton Blossom has several trademarks on it. They are for different things, however. Bath and Body Works has specified that it is for their bath and body products such as room sprays, bubble bath, body wash, etc…. so we cannot use that as a name for our candles.
There is another trademark on Cotton Blossom that is no longer active, but it was for ladies and children’s undergarments, so not related to candles or fragrance at all.
Usually these trademarks are only for the fragrance name, not the fragrance itself. That is why you can find duplications or copies of the fragrance from suppliers. From my research, if a company wanted to trademark the actual fragrance so it couldn’t be duplicated, they would have to get a chemical patent, and a very strict process where only a very few are approved.
Also, did you know?
If a company has a TM(™) by the name of the fragrance that means it is an unregistered trademark? Anyone can us the TM mark without registering anything, however it offers only limited protection. You will only find registered trademarks in the TESS search.
Registered trademarks are ones that have an R(®) next to the name. You CANNOT use the R on your fragrance name unless you have first officially registered it with the US Patent and Trademark Office and it has been accepted. Using the R without first registering it is a federal crime.
You can read more about the differences between TM(™) and R(®) in trademarking here: http://www.clickandcopyright.com/blog/tm-vs-r-which-is-right-for-my-trademark/
So if you have a fragrance name you would like to use, and you see that it has a trademark on it, be sure to check and see what the trademark is for. If there are none that are for bath and body products, perfumes and candles, then you should be okay to use it in naming your candles.
Search TESS here: http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=tess&state=4802:p3rnxj.1.
You can also easily search on the Yankee Candle Company website to see what fragrances they have trademarked.