Business trademarks are a constant part of our lives for so long, we don’t even wonder how the original creators got to a particular name or what was on their minds when they came up with their logos and symbols. We don’t question the reputation of Coca – Cola, nor do we take time to wonder how an apple can represent a computer business. They are here to stay and they are so imprinted in our collective use of language, some brands became synonym with the products they market. When a woman buys a pair of Manolos, nobody wonders if she bought shoes or earrings, while in some European countries, any type of diaper is called Pampers. Brands and trademarks are not only a subject of interest for specialists and lawyers, but most importantly, for business entrepreneurs who want to obtain their own business future names for success.
The laws, regulations and steps to obtain your trademark are both simple and complicated, just as IP attorney Justin McCabe stated in a recent article for Forbes Magazine. So what’s there to know?
1. What’s in a name?
There are two main ways of wisely choosing a company’s trademark name and making sure you’re not going to be the subject of future legal issues to consider. The first and easiest step is to come up with the best names you can think of and start analyzing each and every one of them. Some specialists advice people to make up a list of some serious hundreds of names and then narrow it to at least 10 – 20 most favorite or best suited and Google them in order to find related brands, websites or company names. According to secureyourtrademark, you can trademark your own name, even if you’re not Calvin Klein yet, so listing the best options is the easiest part. The second way is to ask a specialized lawyer to do the entire job for you, with the verification of each name being the most important task.
2. To be or not to be descriptive
Now, here is the point where you should pay attention. Say you listed your first top ten names of your company or business. There is something called the “Descriptive paradox” which experts talking to Forbes managed to comprise as follows: a future company name should be smart, clear and unique, but not so clear that they become generic or descriptive. In other words, the likelihood to be granted a trademark for Jenny’s Cheesecake is quite low. So you don’t have to be only very imaginative, but also very careful with what will the name stand for. Building and establishing a legit and strong business after you secured the trademark is one of the best courses of action an entrepreneur should take and some currently famous companies invested a lot of time, money and effort to get a trademark to fully gain the market power it was meant to.
3. Doing your homework
As said before, listing names and settling to some that are free from any legal infringement was the easy part. The next stop en route is to go to the USPTO Registry, an online database holding all the brands registered under a specific name and giving detailed info regarding their line of business. You can check for yourself all the possibilities, you can address to a specialized agency to help and, better safe than sorry, you can also team up with an attorney to lead you on your best options. When you are sure you found the best name for your brand, you file your paperwork and hope for the best. It’s quite like being a debutant author: you submit your debut novel to a publishing house and pray to get acceptance. The sad part is that similarly to the publishing world, you can also receive a denial letter, explaining you why your trademark name wasn’t accepted. Luckily, you can start the process all over again.
Although it may look simple at a first glance, choosing the trademark for your company, branding it and becoming successful with it is not so easy, especially for beginners. Having an agency or a lawyer to back you up and guide through the jungle is the best advice experts can give to anybody wanting to make a name for themselves.