To start a business, you could choose any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination to identify and distinguish your goods or services. However, there are some pitfalls you might like to avoid. You probably don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on advertisements until you find your trademark cannot be protected. This article will help you to choose a strong trademark for your business at the front stage.
Stop using a generic or merely descriptive name for your trademark. Think about “YO-YO” and “Escalator,” they used to be distinctive trademarks. Because of their popularity, they become the generic term of a general class of product. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generic_trademark
If you were to build a business of cooking utensils, you would want to avoid calling your business “knife” or “kitchen utensils.” The same happens to descriptive names, you don’t want to find a word that merely describes your product or that contains ingredients that are too weak to function as a trademark, like “sharp” for knives.
What are strong trademarks?
Strong marks are those inherently distinctive marks including suggestive, arbitrary, and fanciful trademarks.
1. Suggestive Trademark
If you are not sure whether the term you choose is descriptive or suggestive, just grasp a dictionary and check its meaning. You could refer to the dictionary to see whenever you find the term requires “imagination, thought and perception to reach a conclusion as to the nature of goods”, it is considered a suggestive trademark. Stix Products, Inc. v. United Merchants & Mfrs., Inc., 295 F. Supp. 479 (S.D.N.Y. 1968). Let’s take a look at the famous example “Netflix,” the “net” comes from the word internet, and “flix” is a shortened version of “flicks.” You could then imagine the connection between the trademark and the streaming services it provides.
2. Arbitrary Trademark
An arbitrary trademark is a word or image that already exists, but it has nothing to do with the business that uses it. Like “apple” for personal computers and “domino” for pizzas.
That could be a fun process for your brand but avoid choosing something too randomly. You might confuse people when you apply a trademark similar to the existing ones.
3. Fanciful Trademark
Ideally, we hope clients choose Fanciful Trademarks. The fanciful trademarks are the strongest marks for protection. It would save you a lot of effort if you could invent a term just for your product. For example, Google is used as a mark for the company that specializes in Internet-related services and products.
A strong trademark could save you time and help you avoid wasting money on legal issues. To get the full protection of a trademark, you also need the trademark to “not be functional” and “use in commerce”. Please keep a track of our future blogs, we would help you to find a way to win at the beginning.
*The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.