Settle is now Droplet

Product naming is usually difficult. We found it disarmingly easy to come up with ‘Settle’ over a year ago, and it seemed to really represent what we were doing with our mobile payment startup. A product that let you easily ‘settle’ any bill, either with friends or with your favourite coffee shop.

We’d not heard of Swedish startup ‘iZettle’ and when we did come to hear of them, we thought a couple of things:

1. Different product – they have a plastic card reader (a bit like Square), we’re trying to take the card out of the transaction,

2. Different market – they’re mostly talking to merchants, us to consumers,

3. Different name – ‘eye-zettle’ doesn’t sound like ‘settle’, does it?

So, it was a genuine surprise (and sinking feeling) when we received a letter from iZettle’s lawyers in Sweden. Here’s the tough bit from the letter:

When deciding on the likelihood of confusion of two trademarks, an overall assessment of the visual, conceptual and aural similarities are made. We find your mark similar in all three aspects.

It goes on that we must immediately cease use of the mark – in effect, ending the name of our company, product, website, Twitter handle, etc, etc…

We were advised that defending such a case would likely cost more than we had available, or were able to borrow, maybe as much as £100,000 or more.

We’d much, much rather spend our time, cash and energy focusing on our product – not on a legal battle.

So, as of today we’re called Droplet. Onward!

If you’d like to find out more about Droplet, head over to https://dropletpay.com

6 thoughts on “Settle is now Droplet

  1. Shame about this, I kinda liked ‘settle’ as a name and throwing away all your marketing for the original name has got to hurt.

    Either way, ‘droplet’ sounds good and I’m sure a little thing like a name isn’t going to hold you back! Best of luck!

  2. Good luck with the new brand. I would say a tough lesson learned, but I think your assumptions about iZettle were quite sound. As you discovered though, anybody can threaten to take you to court and for a startup it is more often than not far cheaper to just avoid it – even when you know you’re right! Good decision.

  3. Out of interest did you have the trademark formally registered in the UK? I’ve spent a chunk of money registering some trademarks we’re not using yet, perhaps naively I like to think once they’ve been granted after the 3 months consultation we have protection (otherwise what was the point).

    1. We didn’t, but it’s likely we’d have been granted one: Settle being sufficiently different from “iZettle”. We could still be challenged though, trademarks (and patents) are only as good as your willingness (and financial means) to defend them.

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