How to Select a Proper Trademark

Trademark is the most valuable asset to the businesses; in-depth research of the existing trademarks and analyzing the products and services becomes essential for designing an appropriate trademark.

Trademark is a recognizable sign that identifies and categorize the source of the products and services of one party from the other. The trademark helps the consumer to learn that the goods and services are being provided solely by you & not any third party.

A proper trademark provides the advantages;

  • to claim the ownership or mark
  • to bring an action concerning the mark in the court

What exactly can be included in the trademark?

The trademark can include Word, Phrase, Symbol, Design, Slogan, name, even audio graphics and a combination of any of these features mentioned above. Examples are;

What are the major challenges one can face while selecting a trademark?

You should be well acquainted with the challenges that you might face in the process of creating the trademark. There are majorly two challenges of a trademark:

  1. A probability of Confusion

    Confusion can be arises due to lack of research or understanding of the subject. The difficulty arises primarily because of the similar existing marks or related goods and services. If the trademark you selected is identical to any other existing in the market on the basis of looks, sound, meaning or commercial expression, then it is likely to lead the consumer to confusion.
  2. The potential of the mark

    The potential of the mark decides the strength of the trademark.

  • Generic marks are those wherein they use simplest words like "CAKE" for cake giving it a standard look.
  • Descriptive marks are a bit better than the generic which gives adjective for the product like "CHOCOLATY" for cake, but then again it cannot be explicitly said for just cakes.
  • Suggestive marks, on the other hand, are powerful than the previous two which characterize & suggest qualities of the product like "ON HAPPY HOURS" for cakes.
  • But if you want consumers and potential customers to spot you in the crowd you need to use a Fancy and Arbitrary mark which just cannot go unnoticed. Arbitrary marks are innovative, creative, distinctive in nature that is easiest to be protected, like "Sprinkles" for cakes which sound different than all of the above.

What is ACID test and why it is required while selecting a proper trademark?

INTA; the international trademark association provides a complete guide with few rules concerning proper mark use. Once you are aware of the challenges, the proper trademark should pass the ACID test which stands for, Adjective Consistent Identification or status Distinctive(ACID).

  1. Adjective

    It is of fundamental concern that the trademark is used as an adjective and not noun or verb. If a trademark becomes so famous that people start using it as a verb, it loses out the distinctive feature.

     The above brands are extremely famous but with time they have lost their adjective nature and now are being used as verbs, nouns, and other generic words. So, the mark should be firstly an adjective justifying a noun that further defines the product and services.
  2. Consistent

    Another vital feature of a trademark is the accuracy with which it is used every time. Once the final layout of the trademark is done then, it becomes the face of the brand and should be utilized as it is all the time. To maintain the consistent features of the trademark, if it is bold with capital letters then in every product it should be bright with capital letters. Any distortion of the trademark may confuse the consumer about the brand or company.
  3. Identification or Status

    There is an International system of the trademark that has been founded to regularly identify trademarks and service marks, however, a TM or SM sign is denoted as unregistered trademarks and service marks respectively. The marks are generally used to avoid the legal issues that can be fired upon trademark rights. The symbols like ®, ®SM or TM should be used to identify the company in the market, and it also gives a reputation and preference in the market.
  4. Distinctive

    By distinctive nature here we are talking about the configuration of the trademark that stands out than the rest in the market. It should be vibrant, eye-catchy and easily distinguished in the crowded market. The regular fonts and dull colors with generic feature might lead the trademark nearly merge with the existing words. Hence, the trademark is needed to have a fancy, arbitrary impressive look which one can spot easily. Examples are as follows;

What are the things need to be considered while creating a proper trademark?

To summarize the selection process of a proper trademark the following points are to be taken care of while creating a trademark:

  • In-depth research of the existing trademarks and thorough study of the database of trademarks.
  • Analyzing the products and services that the company offers.
  • Thinking of out-of-the-box, innovative, creative fancy and arbitrary mark which strikes consumers and potential customers.
  • Avoiding deceptive, disparaging and offensive language.
  • You can also take the advice of the trademark attorney and consult the Trademark Manual of Examination Procedure (TMEP) for further help.
  • Review the trademark based on its activity in the marketplace.
  • The trademark should be easy to pronounce, recall and well acquainted with the public.
  • Also, the trademark should give the feel of the quality product and a visible outpost of the company.

 


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