A soon to be emerging start-up often makes a very common mistake unintentionally- deciding upon name and brand of a company. Rather than straightaway registering a brand name just after decision, business minds behind a budding start-up should carefully conduct a trademark search so as to find out the viability of the name or mark decided for a new company. A little effort at the initial stage could save a potential brand from all future legal complications that ensures trademark protection.
Importance of Trademark Protection for New Brands
The primary goal of a brand name is to provide an easy to recognize name that reminds of a positive response in consumers and is also easy to remember. Hence much before registering a brand name, a proper selection of name must be done that would eventually be a strong trademark.
The most inevitable part while opting for a brand and trademark for a new start-up is legal protection. A brand name if not legally protected might face unforeseen complications in future such as trademark infringement. In dire situations, a start-up may stop altogether even before proper launch in the market if it becomes a victim of trademark infringement. Hence a legal protection is an absolute must for any budding start-up.
The Basics of Brand Names
To offer the best quality protection for a brand name, a proper understanding of the trademark basics is absolutely required. According to WIPO, a trademark is a sign capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one enterprise from those of other enterprises.
Let us have a look at the types of brand names that are considered during trademarking:
Generic :A generic brand name is a type of consumer product that lacks a widely recognized name or logo. This is ideally because it isn’t advertised. They are the weakest and least expensive names that cannot be trademarked. In spite of being not worthy enough to be trademarked, the brand names are still used as they are easy to remember and often draw attention from cost-conscious customers.
Descriptive: A Descriptive name is a brand name or company trademark or logo that clearly describes what the work of the company or products manufactured by it and services offered. According to USPTO, descriptive brand names cannot also be trademarked as they are not distinct. The following are the advantages and disadvantages of a descriptive brand name:
- Easy to understand and remember.
- Describe the services or product that the company offers.
- It is easy to pronounce and spell.
- They are likely to receive maximum search engine traffic.
- They cannot be trademarked.
- There is less scope of innovative designs and branding.
This particular type of brand name depicts the product or service offered by the company but in a slightly different manner. The purpose of these suggestive names is often tricky for a customer to understand but not hard enough to interpret. They can function as a metaphor, analogy, or an association. They’re a creative way to position a brand in the market and easier to protect.
Do you know the difference between Trade Name and Trademark?
These brand names are unique and don’t necessarily need any correlation behind the name and the services offered by the company. As a result they are easier to be trademarked. However the main challenge that lies underneath is it takes more time and marketing resources to infuse the name with meaning. They are the easiest to be legally protected.
It is a brand name which bears no direct relationship to the company, product, service, or attribute it describes or provides. They might be confused with generic brand names but are strong enough to be trademarked as they are used absolutely out of context.
Also Read: Crucial Aspects of Trademark Search
Bull’s Eye for Start-Ups
Apart from other business aspects, trademarking of a brand name holds irreplaceable importance for any start-up. Rather than drawing a conclusion that the company needs a descriptive trademark or a suggestive one at the earliest, members should judge thoroughly before trademarking a name. Also the proper selection of a brand name is must as future stability depends on the trademark too.