Your product and service names cannot be trademarked. You cannot register the name “Apple” as a trademark for your Apple sales firm since it is already in use.
However, if you’re in the computer business, the term “Apple” may be quite simple to trademark (assuming you’re the first user!) and incredibly successful.
There are four types of trade name expressions, rising in force from weakest to strongest:
The USPTO cannot register generic phrases or names for legal protection. You cannot legally claim “best” for your goods and services. As with apples, your trademark will fail if it is identical to a popular term for your product or service.
It is very challenging to register descriptive trademarks. Generic trademarks fail to differentiate your goods or service from rivals. “Micro” can be used for tiny objects, and “e” for internet-delivered goods and services. International trademark registration services are great for troubleshooting.
Legal protection and brand awareness may be developed over time for descriptive trademarks that are not generic via broad commercial use, marketing, and advertising. After five years of commercial use, you have the right to try to register such marks since the word will then have a “secondary meaning.” The “secondary register” is a lesser level of trademark protection that, after five years, may be raised to the full protection of the main register. Sometimes descriptive marks will be filed on the “secondary register,” which is a lower degree of protection.
Rather of directly describing the goods or services in issue, trademarks that infer anything about them are said to be suggestive. They are not very descriptive, thus there is a possibility that they may be trademarked and so protected from replication. Pantyhose branded with the name “L’Eggs®” are among the most enticing options now available on the market. Those who are already familiar with the products will instantly identify the emblem as a double clue since it has both of these elements.
First, “L’Eggs®” are promoted as plastic “eggs” since they’re worn on the “legs.” After hearing the name, the client will image the product, but the name does not describe it.
The most effective means of preventing others from using one’s trademark without permission are wholly fake or random marks. “Instagram” and Nike’s “swoosh” are examples of neologisms. Consumers have a tough time remembering arbitrary markings since they have no inherent worth, and it is very difficult to create arbitrary marks as a recognized market force. This is the primary challenge. However, this makes them unmistakable and may boost their potency.
Name your business carefully. Instead of rushing to make a decision, research the brand’s legal and commercial implications. A unique brand name helps you save marketing costs and deter copycats. It is essential to take existing trademarks into consideration while conceiving of a name for a new business.
Selecting a business name is important. While you cannot trademark generic or commonly used terms, there are different levels of trademark strength that offer different legal protection. Descriptive trademarks can gain protection over time through commercial use and establishing a secondary meaning.
Suggestive trademarks can be trademarked more easily and provide more protection. On the other hand, arbitrary or made-up marks, though challenging to create, can be highly distinctive and provide strong protection against infringement.
To avoid trademark infringement, investigate your company name. Choosing a distinctive name may help you stand out, save on marketing, and deter copycats.
Remember, rushing into a decision can have legal and commercial consequences, so invest the necessary time and effort to find a name that reflects your brand identity and is legally viable.