Selecting A Registerable Trademark
The characteristics of a trademark, will determine the level of legal protection afforded to a trademark owner. In order to gain the highest level of protection, the proposed trademark should contain no generic terms, descriptive words, geographic terms, or surnames. The proposed trademark should be as highly distinctive and unique as possible.
Trademark selection will require a lot of thought by the entrepreneur or business owner in order to achieve a high level of success in the trademark registration process. An entrepreneur or business owner selecting a new trademark should consider avoiding the following:
- Abbreviations, Acronyms, Initials, and Misspellings
- Personal Names
- Business Name and Slogan
- Trademark Categories
Trademarks that are distinctive, unique generally are afforded the highest level of legal protection. Additionally, distinctive, unique trademark are more likely to achieve the highest level of success in the trademark registration process. To illustrate, think of a ski resort in the winter time. Everyone on the mountain will have similar different coats, pants, gloves, and hats. However, there will be one or two people with daring fashion sense wearing distinctive pink and yellow neon apparel who will stand out in the crowd. . When you are going through the process of selecting a trademark, you should think of the skier in the pink and yellow neon because, ultimately, you want your trademark to stick out among the competition.
Now this is not to say that the trademark you select has to be vastly different and distinctive from other trademarks. Distinctiveness comes in varying levels, each with pros and cons. The more distinct your trademark is, the higher the likelihood of a successful trademark prosecution with the USPTO. But, the more distinct and unique your trademark is may lead to marketing difficulties as consumers may have difficulty associating the trademark with the products and/or services offered. The less distinctive and unique your trademark is, the lower the chances of a successful trademark prosecution but the easier it becomes to market the trademark with the associated products and/or services.