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Entrepreneurs see a need in society and develop a solution to fulfil that need. The rewards can be great, both to the society and the entrepreneur. But in order for those rewards to be realized the people who can benefit from the entrepreneur’s innovation need to be made aware of it. Once they are aware of it, they need to know how to access it, whether it is a product or a service.

Before they can access it, they need to remember it, especially what it is called. This is one of the most important functions of a trademark: as a way for the consumers of your product or service to store the information they will need to purchase your offering and to continue to repeatedly purchase your offerings in the future. Your trademark (also referred to below as TM) must aid the consumer’s recollection of (1) what your product or service is, and (2) what its name is. In a sense you can think of your TM as a recall device.

Thus, entrepreneurs need trademarks that serve as recall devices. This is a necessity.

Because a trademark is an intangible piece of intellectual property, the only way to satisfy the need for a TM that serves the required function of a recall device is to create it. A trademark can function well as a recall device in one of two ways. If it inherently calls to mind significant attribute of the product or service, and is a memorable term, this will suffice. Alternatively, if it does not call to mind any attributes of the product or service, it can be linked to the product or service through the entrepreneur’s advertising campaign.  In either case, whether the linkage to the product or service stems from the inherent structure of the trademark or from its linkage to the product or services via marketing, the term itself must be memorable and ideally, unique.

So, to sum it up, necessity is the mother of invention, and as applied to your business and your trademark that means you need a TM that both conjures up your product or service in the mind of consumers and is easy for them to remember. That’s the necessity part. The invention part is the development of said trademark.

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Rule #1

Always consult with your trademark attorney before making any changes to the way you use the trademark.

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Thomas M. Wilentz is a published writer on intellectual property law who has been practicing trademark law for 18 years. His firm, Thomas M. Wilentz Attorney at Law, PLLC, was founded in 2003 and since then has helped clients from all over the USA, as well as from Canada, China, the UK, Australia, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore and many other countries.