A unique trademark not only helps you stand out from the crowd, but it’s also likely to actually receive trademark protection. Any word, name, symbol, device, or combination thereof may be trademarked. Understanding what may or may not be eligible for a trademark is crucial.
Avoiding Generic Descriptors
The purpose of a trademark is to distinguish your intellectual property from others. Generic descriptors, such as “beer” or “coffee,” have no shot at receiving a trademark. If the U.S. Patent Office allowed trademarks for these types of words, no one else would be able to use them. You can imagine the confusion this could cause. You can use descriptors as part of your brand. However, trademark protection will not apply to the description. If you were planning on cornering the generic beer market in an homage to Repo Man, you might wish to reconsider those plans.
Deploy Your Creative Side
Made-up words can be a good approach to trademarking a brand. It’s impossible to infringe on something that doesn’t exist. Of course, you’ll want to ensure that anything you come up with is readable and pronounceable. Choosing an existing word that would otherwise never be associated with your product is another potential avenue. Nobody ever associated “apple” with home computers until home computers became ubiquitous. Now the fruit may not even be the first thing that pops into your head.
It’s important to think about more than one option when considering a trademark. You don’t want to work so hard to find out a trademark already exists. You also want to avoid something so similar to an existing trademark that it might constitute infringement. A skilled professional can help walk you through this process and avoid many of the pitfalls that can come with trademark registration.