Atlanta hair care business in trademark battle with Wal-Mart

O.B. Nizam, an Altanta based hair care business owner, is in a trademark battle over the name of his product line "Embodi." Walmart has filed to have Nizam's trademark canceled...

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

If Atlanta entrepreneur O. B. Nizam was asked, “What’s in a name?” he could say his dream for his own business.

Or he could say a legal nightmare. For him, both would be true, even if the name is spelled different ways.

Got that? Nizam is the owner of a small and, he said, “struggling” company called Embodi International which sells hair care and beauty products, mostly online. It’s not making money, he said, but he has hope.

Late last year, Nizam learned that Walmart wanted Embodi International’s registered trademark of the Embodi name canceled. The Arkansas retailer said in a filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board that it is the rightful owner of the Embody and Mbody names “for use in connection with various bath, health and beauty products.”

Nizam, who registered the Embodi name in 2008 when he said he also first used it, was taken aback.

“Of all the people to pick on, why us?” he asked.

In its filing, Walmart said it has common law rights to the Embody name that date back “to at least as early as 2004,” and to the Mbody name that go back to as early as 2007. It said it first used the names in commerce before Embodi International applied for its trademark.

Continued at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution