Tips for Considering a Brand Name

Tue, 12/04/2018 - 16:15 -- Leonard Shostak

Your brand name may seem like the perfect type of item to trademark. After all, it is your name. But, that’s not always something that can work. One reason for this is the fact that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has some pretty strict rules on what can and cannot be trademarked in the first place.

The more unique and distinctive your brand name is, the more likely it is to be protected. Therefore, consider a trademark that is fanciful, suggestive, and creative. Below find a few important points to help you create your own unique name:

  1. Creative Consider a fanciful term, for example. If you look at many of the different trademarked names out there today, you would not have known them before they were trademarked as terms that were very familiar. For example, you probably had never heard the term “Starbucks” before you saw the business and learned what they offer. But, today, if you ask most Americans if they want to stop at Starbucks they would know just what you are talking about. Consider other names like Verizon, Exxon, Gap, because they are so unique that no one can ever claim to have used them before, the trademark given to them can provide the most protection possible.
  2. Suggestive Yet another term that the USPTO uses to describe those situations in which a trademark can and cannot be protected is that of suggestive. Although it is in the middle of the scale between good and bad, in most cases, a suggestive trademark can be an excellent choice to consider for a trademark or brand name. In a suggestive trademark, there is some correlation between what the term is and what is being offered, but you must really think outside of the box to come up with just what the implication is. These suggestive trademarks can allude to something that is offered or a characteristic of the product or business but it must be somewhat difficult to come up with a conclusion.
  3. Descriptive Descriptive is another type of trademark that is used to describe the brand name, but this time the trademarked name will actually be a description, in some form, of the product. The benefit of a descriptive trademark is easy to understand. A company that doesn’t have a lot of marketing dollars can’t spend a fortune telling their consumers that the term “orange” refers to their type of radio. Instead, descriptive terms are ideal for those that are using them to help market their business. You can find many of these kinds of brand names. The toy store, “Toys R Us” is a great example. You can easily see what the store is all about but it still has a unique feel to it. “Value Mart” could be another one.