Everyone who has to deal with marketeers and brand managers knows that their wish for a new product name is to stay close to the actual product. In this respect you do not have to explain your customers in length what the product is about or what it can do. The name suggests a certain expectation.
This also applies to the trademark Footlong of Subway. This trademark concerns, as the name says it, a sandwich of 1 foot, so 12 inches. An Australian customer of Subway recently posted a photo of his sandwich on Facebook. Everybody could see that this sandwich measured only 11 inches. He asked Subway for a clarification.
Subway has now responded by saying that Footlong is just a trademark and is no indication of a length. That sounds weird, the trademark suggests some features but as a customer you may not expect to get these features. In a later message Subway says that they are trying to create a consistent product but sometimes products are slightly shorter. That sounds better!
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“Trademark protection gives freedom to do business.”