A trademark can be your assets provided it is picked, used and preserved as per the statutory law provided by the respective regulatory office. A trademark can be used as collateral for financing and thus it is important to pick a trademark that worth investment. Picking a qualified trademark is something that requires acquaintances with various aspects of trademark registration like trademark law, trademark regulatory norms, trademark search and trademark registration process etc.
However, with this article, we are not going to discuss every aspect of trademark but we will underline some major points those should be considered that are necessary for picking a good and worthy trademark. We must accept the fact that the attempts for picking a good trademark should be exercised right at the beginning so that you can avoid any kind of untoward event.
So, let’s go through those important points that are indispensable for picking a good trademark.
- Understanding what a trademark really is
- Picking a distinctive and suggestive mark
- Understanding trademark law
- Understanding trademark search
Now let’s describe these above-mentioned points emphasizing their importance in picking a good trademark.
Understanding what a trademark really is: A trademark is any unique expression that a business can use to distinguish their business’ goods or services from those of other traders. The term ‘Trademark’ is a broad term that encompasses word, slogan, photograph, logo, graphic, color combination, sound or even smell. Once assigned, the concerned party can enjoy the exclusive right to use that trademark for an unlimited period (provided the trademark is renewed every 10 years or as per the statutory rules of the respective trademark office).
Speaking specifically, a trademark is a source identifier. It identifies the source of the goods or services in connection with which it is being used and thus can be considered as the communication link between the manufacturer and the consumer.
Picking a distinctive and suggestive mark: For a mark to be qualified as a trademark, it is important for it to be distinct, unique and different. A mark with a name that is similar, nearly similar and/or confusing may risk rejection and thus should be avoided right at the beginning.
In other words, we can say that ‘trademark distinctiveness’ is one of the most important criteria to be met before a trademark is granted and approved by the respective patent office. Basically, trademarks can be of four kinds depending on the nature of the word chosen:
(A) Inherently distinctive
Inherently distinctive marks are those marks that are distinct in its nature itself and can lead consumers to the source without any confusion. Marks that are inherently distinctive merit protection all the time as per the United States Patent Office.
Ever considered protecting a mark “deep bowl” for a spoon? If yes then you have tried to protecting a descriptive mark. A descriptive trademark is a word that identifies the characteristics of the product or service to which the mark pertains. These are those marks that don’t merit protection under United States Trademark law.
Suggestive marks are those species of trademark those are not generally descriptive but is distinctive, and which evokes one or more characteristics of the product through the use of imagination. These marks merit protection under certain circumstances.
Understanding trademark law: Trademark law is a complex, and structured domain that requires inputs from attorneys and legal experts. When it comes to United States trademark law the statutory rules are mentioned in 37 C.F.R. PART 2-RULES OF PRACTICE IN TRADEMARK CASES and any trademark applicant should go through each and every paragraph of the law.
Trademark search is the last but not the least important step that should be considered while picking a good trademark. Earlier attorneys were doing this task but with the emergence of trademark search firms, that workload can also be shared with these firms.
A trademark search is an act of doing a comprehensive search of all the avenues that can potentially have an impact on an intended mark. Unlike knock-out trademark search wherein we care only about some specific aspects, in full trademark search, we consider all the possible aspects that can affect our intended mark in future.
Trademark search is a broad domain that consists of various laws and regulations pertaining to trademark filing and trademark registration. Covering each one of them in this article could be overwhelming, but still, you can read some important articles on trademark search here and here.
All we can say is that picking a good trademark requires consideration of above-mentioned facts so that they can ensure a trademark that can last forever without any kind of challenges and lawsuits.