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More than just a trademark- A reflection of your Company

Selecting a trademark is often difficult. Your trademark needs to convey the appropriate image for your company and what you are selling.  It should have a positive connotation that makes consumers feel good. It must not have any undiagnosed negative connotations, such as an unfavorable meaning in a foreign language understood by the target consumers. Ideally it should not be descriptive of your company or your products or services. Finally, it needs to be available – that is, not confusingly similar to another party’s trademark for related goods or services. So, in a nutshell, you need to put some serious thought and time into the selection of your trademark.

Suppose you are in the business of selling snack foods, your target consumer demographic is young urban dwellers, and your new trademark is for mixed nuts. You want your trademark to sound current, modern and savvy, yet fun and whimsical, while conveying something positive about the product. Suppose you settle on NuttY-umms.  This would convey a positive message about the product (Yumms) inform about the nature of the product (Nutty); is not descriptive (because the compound word NuttY-umms includes the made-up term umms, the mark could be viewed as suggestive of mixed nuts but not descriptive). The mark would not appear to have any negative connotations in another language widely spoken or understood in the United States, however this should be further evaluated. The remaining questions would be whether NuttY-umms conveys the right message about the company, and if so, is the trademark available.  If you decide that NuttY-umms passes all your internal hurdles – conveys the right message, reflects your company’s character, is positive, not descriptive, etc., then you need to do your due diligence and conduct a comprehensive trademark search to see if another party may have registered, applied to register, or is using a confusingly similar mark for related goods or services.  If the search does not disclose any conflicting uses or registrations, it’s time to apply to register the NutttY-umms trademark.

If you’re stuck we are always available to help with the trademark selection process.

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.