Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Product names are important, and it’s especially important that they be unique. This is why there’s no Dodge Corvette or Toyota Civic: customers would be confused. (Although I don’t quite get why BMW and Audi both think it’s a good move to have 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 series models.)

So if you’re a camera-maker, like say Xenics, and you’re launching a new range, wouldn’t you spend a few minutes on-line to make sure you’ve got a new and unique name?

Apparently not, because they’ve called their new SWIR camera the Bobcat. That’s interesting, because when I think of a Bobcat camera I think of the extensive family from Imperx.

Now I understand these two companies don’t “play in the same space,” to steal a stomach-churning phrase from the MBA’s. SWIR is of interest to those who are imaging biological objects, like fruit or people, and for those who might want better images in low visibility conditions, like those working on surveillance, while the Imperx cameras are just really nice, low-noise, high-speed, machine vision cameras. So perhaps the markets are different and buyers won’t get confused. But it still strikes me as silly to use a name that’s already in service.

I wonder what the trademark lawyers have to say about it?

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