Here’s Vendr, an application that allows you to turn any website into an online store.
And here's Vendder, which . . . um . . . allows you to turn any website into an online store.
Yes, their names are pronounced identically. No, they are not related. (Vendder is based in Portugal; Vendr doesn’t disclose its earthly whereabouts.)
How did this happen? I’ll hazard a guess: In each case, the name-development process went no further than (1) the not-so-brilliant insight that “vendor” was a key concept and (2) the securing of an available domain.
I asked trademark lawyer Jessica Stone Levy, who writes the Beauty Marks blog, for her professional opinion of this mess. Her response:
It’s an excellent example of (1) why a professional search can be really helpful (e.g., I would never think of doubling the “D” in an online search); and (2) why it helps to have a trademark lawyer tell you “hey, that’s descriptive.”
For the uninitiated: In trademark law, “descriptive” is a Bad Thing, almost as bad as “generic.” Good names are suggestive, fanciful, or arbitrary.
So, Vendr and Vendder: How's that word-of-mouth thing working for you?
P.S. There’s also a site called Vendr.tv, but it doesn’t turn websites into online stores—it covers the world of street-food vendors.