How to choose a trademark that can likely be protected?

Make one up.
My greatest challenge when it comes to trademarks is the marketing department. In most cases, marketers tell their clients, when choosing a trademark, to select a mark that “describes” what they do.
Trademark lawyers tell clients, do NOT choose a mark that describes what you do. Instead, select a mark that is unique and distinctive, not descriptive. When counseling my clients, the best way for them to accomplish that is to make up a word and then market it to the hilt.
Remember this; no one knew what Google meant before they started to market it. Back in the day when someone said Apple, no one would have thought of computer products. Nor would anyone over 50 ever have thought of Dominos for pizza.  Yet today, because of extensive and creative marketing, these non-descriptive unique and distinctive terms have become household names.
According to the SBA, here are some other points to consider as you choose your trademark:

  • How will your trademark look? – On the web, as part of a logo, on social media.
  • What connotations does it evoke? – Is your name too corporate or not corporate enough? Does it reflect your business philosophy and culture? Does it appeal to your market?
  • Is it unique? – Pick a name that hasn’t been claimed by others, online or offline. A quick web search and domain name search will alert you to any existing use.
  • If you intend to incorporate your business, you’ll need to contact your state filing office to check whether your intended business name has already been claimed and is in use.
  • It is web-ready? – In order to claim a website address or URL, your business name needs to be unique and available. Next, check whether a domain name (or web address) is available.

You can read more tips on the SBA website here: https://www.sba.gov/content/how-name-business
Who’s ready to register the next big thing?
Until next time, I’m attorney Francine Ward sharing useful legal information. Join my conversation on FacebookTwitter, or in one of my LinkedIn groupsGoogle+ Circles.

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