Amazon Wants To Bully Amazee Into Changing Its Name

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Online retail juggernaut Amazon isn’t too pleased with the name Swiss startup Amazee picked for its social collaboration service, and is now trying to persuade the young company to change it to something else. This has apparently been going on for a couple of months, but now Amazee is stepping up and throwing some good old fighting words out there, claiming ‘peaceful and cooperative efforts to reach an amicable solution’ have led to nothing.

Amazon claims consumers could be confused by the similarity of the two names and wrongfully assume there’s some sort of affiliation. Amazee, on the other hand, claims the name is derived from the word ‘amazing’ (sounds plausible) and alleges that there’s no chance for confusion.

The startup launched a new project on its own service, and this is an excerpt of the description:

Their IP department says:

“… the mark AMAZEE is not a natural derivative of “amazing”. Amazee is a coined term where the dominant portion of the mark brings to mind Amazon, not “amazing”.”

Hm. The brand name Amazon is better known than the english word amazing? Well, at least they show great enthusiasm for their company.

At this point, it looks like Amazon attorneys representing their Luxembourg subsidiary are demanding the deletion of Amazee in the Swiss trademark register (after waiting for the opposition period to expire) while their US attorneys have filed an appeal against the registration of Amazee in the US.

Amazee, which we likened to a ‘Facebook meets Basecamp for activists’ when it launched, is now calling its users and fans to speak up in favor of the service on the project, and they’re trying to get some publicity out of it in a humorous way: if you join to support the submitted project, you have a shot at winning a 100$ Amazon gift certificate.

Personally, I’m pleased to see the young company takes a stance against Amazon, even if they’re clearly now trying to turn the situation into a promotional vehicle. Having taken a good look at Amazee’s size and scope, its logo, the believable explanation of how they came up with the name and particularly its current activities and future plans, I think Amazon is looking ridiculous going after them.

(Via BloggingTom – in German)

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