Apart from selecting an attractive trademark, you want to ensure that the mark you choose receives enough protection rights. You have worked extremely hard to get your business up and running; it would be unfair to you and the business if you failed to select a good trademark worthy of adequate protection.
Choosing a good mark is not just about searching USPTO’s database, though a search on the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) is vital. USPTO does not allow individuals to register already-registered trademarks. Additionally, remember that if you skip the search part, and end up using a mark that belongs to someone else or one that imitates another trademark, you will be guilty of trademark infringement.
Nonetheless, as much as choosing a non-registered mark is crucial, a good trademark is a STRONG one. Therefore, before even diving into how to select a strong mark, the first tip is that a good trademark is a strong one. Now, how do you choose a strong trademark?
Tips for Choosing a Strong Trademark
The strength or weakness of the trademark you choose depends on the type of mark you select. The types of trademarks you can choose from are listed below. There are;
● Arbitrary marks
● Descriptive marks
● Suggestive marks
● Generic marks and
● Fanciful marks
Choosing a strong trademark does not have to be complicated. Pay attention to the following tips.
Tip 1: Stay Away From Generic and Descriptive Marks
When you decide to use a generic phrase or word as your trademark, you choose to use a mark that inherently describes the products or services you offer. For example, if you are in the business of selling candles, “Candles” would be an example of a generic trademark. If USPTO allows you to register such a mark, everyone else then loses every right to use the term “Candles” when describing their products, and that would be unfair. USPTO usually turns down such marks.
Descriptive marks, on the other hand, consist of phrases or words that describe a feature, characteristic, or purpose of the goods or services you offer. Such a mark can receive protection but not adequate protection. The trademark "Park 'N Eat" for a business that provides parking services near a restaurant is an example of a descriptive trademark.
Tip 2: Suggestive Marks are Better Than Generic and Descriptive Marks, but They are Not the Best
A suggestive trademark is an upgrade from a generic or descriptive mark. Suggestive marks indirectly suggest what a business does. An example of a suggestive mark is Lyft, the ridesharing company. If you select a unique suggestive trademark, you can secure a fair amount of protection for it.
Tip 3: Arbitrary and Fanciful Marks are Your Best Hope for Securing Enough Protection for Your Mark
APPLE, which describes the famous electronic company, is an example of an arbitrary trademark. Arbitrary marks typically consist of existent phrases or words that have no relationship with the services or goods associated with them.
Fanciful marks, on the other hand, are made up of non-existent phrases or words. GOOGLE is an example of a fanciful trademark. Your arbitrary trademark will receive strong protection, but fanciful marks receive the strongest protection.
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