Effective Trademarks – How to Select a Good Name

Your trademark is the most important asset your business will ever own. A good trademark will distinguish you from the competition and help you stand out in a crowd. A poor trademark will entangle you in legal disputes and blunt your marketing efforts. Selecting a good trademark is as simple as following these guidelines.

First of all, avoid Trademarks that cannot be Registered. There is no point investing in a trademark that you can’t register. Registering the mark protects it from competitors, ensures your ownership rights in the mark and makes it easier to enforce your rights against copy cats. As you will read below, certain types of words are inherently poor choices as trademarks because they cannot be registered.

Avoid Purely Descriptive Words. Words which describe the nature or quality of the goods or services sold with the mark are not permitted to be registered. Hence, the mark “Cold Beer” for use with malt beverages cannot be registered because it describes the actual product being sold. If registered, it would prevent anyone from using the terms Cold and Beer to describe a malt beverage.

Avoid Surnames. Surnames cannot be registered as trademarks. Hence the mark “Wilson Power Boats” is a poor choice for a trademark because the word Wilson is a surname (and the rest of the mark is descriptive).

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