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How to Choose a Strong Trademark for Your Business

May 31, 2022

Selecting a strong trademark is one of the most crucial decisions you’ll make in your business formation process. It's an essential marketing tool and business asset that can differentiate one's products and services from competitors in the market. It's worth taking the time to learn more about what to consider when choosing a strong trademark name. 

What Is a Trademark? 

A trademark is a sign or a graphical representation used by a trader or organization indicating a connection between the business and particular goods and services. A trademark's primary function is to distinguish between your goods and services in the market from the competition's. It marks a business's presence among customers and connects with them through a distinct identity.

The words 'trademark,' 'copyright,' and 'patent' are often used interchangeably and incorrectly. Knowing the difference is essential before determining what is needed for your specific situation. All three are different forms of intangible property that can be purchased, sold, licensed, or otherwise exploited for commercial gain and protect completely different interests. 

Types of Trademarks 

A trademark’s strength depends on the mark elected and how it’s used. Every trademark falls somewhere between weak and strong, and you want to ensure yours is on the solid side.

Fanciful 

These marks are made up of words that only function as a trademark. Some well-known fanciful marks like Google and Reebok are some of the strongest marks, backed by powerful protection.

They have the highest likelihood of approval as they consist of brand-new, made-up words or phrases, defining the meaning of the product which has never been used before. 

Generic

A generic term cannot be embedded, and a law firm may reject a trademark letter where the proposed mark is considered a general term. So, how do you define a generic name? 

These trademarks are simply names of the product or service a business is offering. For example, you write Trademark Law Firm as the name of an organization that handles trademark law. That name and description are too generic and common, and too often used to identify similar goods and services, to reserve.

Descriptive

These trademarks are a step ahead of generic trademarks as they focus on the quality of the goods and services you're offering. These are used similarly to generic terms and often become difficult to distinguish from each other. Thus, descriptive trademarks are considered one of the weakest marks to get approved but have a narrow scope of protection. Descriptive marks can be improved through substantial advertising, proving the mark is closely associated with you. It will give better protection and a higher chance of approval. 

Suggestive

These marks are considered more creative and unique because they take a bit more thought to connect to your product or service. As a result, they’re more likely to be approved by the USPTO. 

One of the most common and famous of these trademarks is Amazon. By tying the world’s largest marketplace to the world’s largest jungle, the suggestive trademark ensures that the name is always at the tip of one’s tongue.

Arbitrary

This term is an existing word or phrase that won't be associated with your products or services. It's one of the strongest trademarks formed with a new and unique meaning to an existing term based on your business. Apple is a simple example. It's an arbitrary trademark for the name of an electronic equipment company. The word means fruit, and the company has nothing to do with a piece of fruit. 

Trademark Spectrum 

Trademarks can be naturally unique or can obtain distinctiveness through use. The "Spectrum of Distinctiveness" helps explain the strength of trademarks, including proposed words. It ranges from generic wording to fanciful wording, which informs the scope of probation to a mark. 

The Importance of Distinctiveness 

Choosing a unique and new trademark increases its protection rate. The strongest trademarks are fanciful or coined marks followed by arbitrary marks like Amazon, which offers retail services. If appropriate legal protection is absent, consumers will be deceived and cheated easily, which will make manufacturers suffer financial and reputation losses. 

Avoid Trademark Conflicts 

Trademark security gives your business the freedom to prevent others from using the same mark but only when the alleged trademark violation causes likely confusion about the origin of goods. A conflict can lead you to a legal challenge. A trademark holder doesn't own the mark, but they hold the right to use it to sell goods and services. 

Online Help to Choose a Strong Trademark 

The Trademark Engine team makes it easy to stand out from the crowd. Trademark Engine helps you with the trademark registration process through services like thorough existing trademark searches, registration, trademark management, and more. Get started registering your trademark with confidence today! 

Trademark Engine is not a law firm and none of the information on this website constitutes or is intended to convey legal advice. General information about the law is not the same as advice about the application of the law in a particular factual or legal situation. Individual facts and circumstances as well as legal principles including but not limited to the ones referenced on this website can affect the outcome of any given situation.

Trademark Engine cannot and does not guarantee that an application will be approved by the USPTO, that a mark will be protected from infringement under common US trademark law, or that any ensuing litigation or dispute will lead to a favorable outcome. If you want or have an interest in obtaining legal advice with respect to a specific situation or set of circumstances, you should consult with the lawyer of your choice.

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