Spectrum Puts New Name on Ice

Spectrum, a business unit of Cabletron Systems, which is setting off on its own, has postponed its new company name and brand release at Networld+Interop due to an unforeseen and unexpected obstacle: another company snagged it first.

Despite extensive research, a three-month backlog at the US Patent and Trademark Office -- caused by the avalanche of Internet domain name registrations -- prevented the company from realising that Rapid Clip Neural Systems applied for the name "Netuitive Communications" a mere two days before Spectrum did.

"We've been working on this all summer, since June," said Lara Willard, public relations manager at Spectrum. "We checked and double-checked for availability on the name, but nothing came up because of the delay (at the US Patent and Trademark Office). We still have our new company in place, just with no name."

An alert analyst notified the company of the name-doubling problem, preventing Spectrum from unknowingly hyping another business at N+I.

Spectrum is a software company focused on enterprise and network management and reporting tools which is spinning off from Cabletron, a move that Elizabeth Rainge, an analyst at International Data Corp, in Framingham, Massachusetts, sees as a good idea.

"As a software company, they're becoming more fully independent; the name change makes sense because they'll have no full ties to Cabletron the hardware company," she said, noting that Spectrum is becoming more well-known for its software. "It's a new name, a new image, and the same core technology.

"They've really been stuck by having the Cabletron equipment connection, so now they're free to go and work with other companies, such as Cisco," Rainge explained.

Rainge said the lack-of-a-name issue is not a setback for Spectrum, but also commented on the strange situation with Rapid Clip.

"I feel bad for [Spectrum]," she said. "It's ridiculously ironic that the same company who had their name is in the network range as well."

Spectrum officials will launch the new company at N+I, but are postponing their naming announcement until later this year. Efforts to find a different name are already underway; until then, the company continues to be known by the name "Spectrum".

Given the huge number of new start-up and spin-off businesses, the process of finding a catchy, interesting, and unique brand name will definitely not get simpler in the future. Rainge noted that not even made-up identifiers -- such as "Netuitive" -- are safe bets, given the recent trend toward meshing several words into one name.

"This should be a kind of warning to other companies that it's not an easy task to find a name or change your name with the explosion of companies on the Internet," Spectrum's Willard advised.