Why should I care about selecting a good trademark for my product or service?

 

A trademark is a name associated with a product or service that distinguishes the source of that product or service from other sources in the same line of commerce. Remember, you or your company is the “source,” and the whole purpose of using a distinctive name is to separate yourself or your company from your competitors in the eyes of consumers. When done successfully, you begin to create an association between you and your product in the minds of consumers. Ideally, consumers associate your brand, or trademark, with qualities that enhance the value of your company. Skillful trademarking of your brand and products increases the value of the good will of your company.

The business term for this process is called marketing or branding.   The legal angle to the marketing and branding process is called trademarking.

Trademarks can enhance the value of your company significantly, because strong customer recognition and association of a mark with your company as the source builds brand loyalty and possibly nation-wide or even world-wide recognition of the product or service. Owning an entire collection of well-known trademarks in your company’s line of commerce can be an important source of value.

But not all trademarks are created equal.   Aside from marketing, the primary factor that will affect the strength of your mark will be type of name you select for the trademark. Generally, names for trademarks fall into five categories, listed below in the order of descending strength:

Arbitrary

Fanciful

Suggestive

Descriptive

Generic

Although a generic name can be used for your product, it cannot become a trademark and therefore will not provide value to your company. Most business owners instinctively know this.

Visit the Mallgren & Ferrell, P.C. Blog entitled “Choosing a Trademark for my Product or Serviceto learn about the relative strength of arbitrary, fanciful, suggestive and descriptive trademarks.