Name could be a game changer!
Posted on: April 26, 2019
You must listened this phrase ‘what is in a name’ or ‘a rose by another name would smell as sweet’. No doubt, These phrases are still relevant for few things, that’s why we can watch an IPL teams advertisement ‘Game banayega name’. But when we talk about any business or idea then name is surely the most important part. In Today’s world it could be a few millions or billions of dollars. So be wise to choose a name and register a trademark for your business before branding it. Otherwise someone else will register your brand name and use it, and by law you have to rename your company and rebrand it which would coast you much more.
Trademark is essentially another word for brand name. A trademark can be any name, word, symbol, slogan, or device that serves to both identify or distinguish a business or product from others in market. Once you have trademarked your business, if someone else makes an attempt to use something similar enough to confuse customers, you have the right to legally protect yourself and stop the other party.
Well, it is not necessary to register a trademark but you can voluntarily apply for the same. Here are top reasons of why trademarks are important to your business:
1. Your trademark is an effective communication tool
Your trademark doesn’t need to be a word. Designs can be recognized regardless of language or alphabet. The Nike “Swoosh” design is recognized globally, regardless of whether the native language is Swahili, Chinese, Spanish, Russian, Arabic or English.
2. Trademark Distinguish your business
The marketplace is crowded and it’s hard to distinguish your business from your competitors. Trademarks/brands are an efficient commercial communication tool to capture customer attention and make your business, products and services stand out.
3. Trademark allow business to utilize social media
Your brand is the first thing customers enter into a search engine or social media platform (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) when looking for your products and services.
4. Trademarks are a valuable asset
Trademarks provide value beyond your core business. Trademarks can lead the way for expansion from one industry to another, such as from personal care to clothing or eye ware. If you desire it, your trademark can lead to the acquisition of your business by a larger corporation.
5. Trademarks never expire
Your trademark will not expire as long as you are using it in United States commerce. Some of the most recognized brands in the United States today have been around for over a hundred years. Mercedes was first registered in 1900. Pepsi-Cola was registered in 1896.
Things to keep in mind before registering a trademark:
- Don’t choose a descriptive brand name: descriptive brand names are the weakest brand names to have. Well what start-ups and new companies adopting descriptive brand names do not realize is that when they adopt brand names which consist of words commonly used in their business circle to describe the products or services they offer they are weakening their brand value. The primary function of a trademark is to help consumers distinguish the goods or services offered by one entity from those of other entities. If the brand name being adopted is a word commonly used by entities to describe the qualities, characteristics, nature of the products/services they offer then they will be unable to stop other entities from using the same word to describe their products/services for e.g. Choco Treat in respect of chocolates and chocolate based confectionery; American Airlines for airlines etc.
- Adopt a suggestive, arbitrary or coined name: The strongest trademarks are made of words which are arbitrary and coined. Arbitrary trademarks are those which are commonly used dictionary words but which have no co-relation with the goods or services being offered under the trademark e.g. Apple-Computers, Orange-Mobile, Mango-Clothes. Coined or Invented Trademarks are those marks which have no meaning e.g. Kodak-Camera, Exxon-oil and gas company. If we were to look at the Top brand names, you will notice that they have no direct correlation or connection with the goods/services they offer e.g. Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, Disney etc. and these are either suggestive, arbitrary or coined brands.
- Pre-filing search is very important: The importance of a pre-filing search is to ascertain the availability of the brand name as a trademark i.e. to identify if there is any other entity that has already adopted a trademark which may be identical or deceptively similar to the brand name that the entity wishes to adopt as its trademark. If upon conducting a search no identical or similar trademark is revealed then the entity can proceed with filing the trademark application to register the brand name and commence marketing or promoting the products/services under the brand name. It is advisable to conduct a pre-filing search to ensure that the entity does not spend substantial money in promoting the brand just to be sued by another entity that had adopted a similar brand name in respect of same goods earlier in time.
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