It is not uncommon for trademark disputes to resolve with one party agreeing to stop using the mark that is in dispute. If the mark is the party’s name, then a name change is required.
Name changes are usually not easy. Consider the need to change items having the mark, including advertisements, signs, letterhead, business cards, brochures, packaging, marked products, and a website. Further, a name change may mean a loss of customer recognition of the brand and the need to educate customers on the new name.
As a result, it is no surprise that a party is usually not happy about being required to change its name. So too when a country is pressured to change its name.
NPR reports that the parliament of the country of Macedonia (Republic of Macedonia) approved changing the country’s name to North Macedonia to appease Greece. NPR reports on why Greece objected to Macedonia’s name:
Greece already contained a region called Macedonia, which incorporates most of the territories of the eponymous ancient kingdom that was led centuries ago by Alexander the Great. Both Greece and its northern neighbor consider Alexander, and the name, integral parts of their identity…
Previous Greek governments have also claimed the tiny Republic of Macedonia might use the name to make territorial claims on its province.
As a result of this name dispute, Greece has blocked Macedonia’s entry into both NATO and the European Union. Greece and Macedonia have been in a dispute over the name since 1991 when the Republic of Macedonia broke away from Yugoslavia.
Opponents of the name change strongly condemned the vote in parliament using words such as “traitors” and “treason,” according to NPR.
Name changes are often hard. However, apparently the benefits of a possible path to NATO and EU membership outweigh the resistance to a name change in the Republic of Macedonia. Similarly in trademark disputes, when a name change is agreed, the business usually sees the benefits arising from a change outweighing the costs.