The Ugly Truth about Trademarks

I’ve been running my own business’ for several years, and in that span of time have launched countless products, all with their own project names. I’ve never given a second thought to it, and will usually run a quick Google search just to make sure there’s nothing else that exists by that name. Apparently we didn’t look hard enough when naming Lasso.

Cease and Desist

A couple days ago we received a Cease and Desist from LassoSoft, supplier of computer programs and software. We’re being asked to stop using the term LASSO. After talking with our attorney, we really don’t have a lot of ground to stand on. Plain and simple, we registered the domain after their trademark was officially approved.

So with this Cease and Desist case, we had two possible choices for outcomes; be complete dicks and fight it and waste development dollars and time in the process, or two, just rename and rebrand. After some thought, we’re just going to take the second route. Especially after seeing how the case between Automattic and Pearson is going, a trademark battle isn’t something that I’m interesting in at this time.

There are a lot more important things in life than the name of a plugin for WordPress.

Help us rename!

We need to rename, and rebrand Lasso. There’s a couple good ideas floating around, including just renaming to LASO (we were asked to simply stop using the term LASSO), and we also had the idea of just renaming to WP Front End Editor (however I’m not sure how well that one would be looked at too well). But what do you think? Do you have any thoughts or any ideas for names? We want to the community to help with the naming, so leave a comment with your thoughts!

We’ll make another post in one week with your suggestions, then will let the community vote on the best name for our editor!

In summary

I’m attaching a copy of the Cease and Desist here, if for nothing else other than educational purposes. People take trademarks pretty seriously, and I hope that this can serve as a reminder that naming a WordPress project may seem simple and insignificant, but actually has a pretty far reach in terms of impact made.

Do your due diligence and perform comprehensive searches for companies or trademarks with the term you’d like to use. In the end it’s the only way to avoid the situation that we put ourselves into.

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