ZOOMing in on Financial Tickers and IP
Intellectual Property Partner Thomas Brooke authored an article in the International Trademark Association Bulletin discussing the confusion between the ZOOM:US and ZM:US ticker symbols. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many investors rallied to buy stocks from ZOOM, only to realize it was the wrong stock. It is common to see consumers mistakenly purchase the wrong product or service because of confusion over its commercial source, but we rarely see investor confusion over a company’s stock marked by financial tickers’ abbreviations. These are unique symbols that help investors find information about a publicly traded company or security. Companies try to tie the goodwill of their most famous brands to their financial ticker to attract more investors. A simple first-to-file system can quickly lead to confusion, as occurred with Zoom Technologies Inc. (OTC:ZOOM), a nearly $30 million market value Delaware corporation with its principal offices in China, and Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:ZM), famous for the Zoom video platform with a market value of about $40 billion.