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Brand Name Carefully
you create a brand name, the relative strength of the words you
choose directly affects how well you will be able to protect the
goodwill your brand builds.
Depot was getting off the ground in 1979, its founders searched for
just the right name. They rejected choices like MB's Warehouse,
Homeplace and Bad Bernie's Buildall in favor of the name that is now
synonymous with hardware.
How did they
it? An associate was driving past a restaurant made out of an old
railroad car. She was looking
for words that sounded
good with "home" and The Home Depot was one of
the choices that popped into her head.
Advice: Choose a unique
trademark to protect your company. The more distinctive it is, the
easier it will be to exclude similar trademarks from the marketplace.
words that are compatible with your product or service is one way to
come up with a trademark. But keep in mind that not all trademarks can
be protected under the law and registered with the federal Patent and
A mark is protectable if it is sufficiently distinctive to another
trademark that identifies a similar product or service. It can be a
word, a symbol or a picture. Ordinary names receive little, if any,
protection under trademark law and can’t be federally
Strongest Categories Include:
These words are made up and have no purpose other than to identify a
brand of goods or services. Examples are Kodak film and Xerox
These are real words, but used differently from their ordinary meaning.
Examples are Apple computers, Dial soap and Mercury cars.
Suggestive. These are real words that suggest, but
don’t actually describe, qualities, characteristics or
functions of the product or service. For example, Greyhound Bus lines
suggests speed. These marks don't always receive the broad rights that
fanciful or arbitrary marks enjoy but they are usually entitled to
federal registration. And their owners may be able to exclude identical
or similar marks in the same or related markets.
The Weakest Category Is:
These simply describe the qualities, characteristics, functions or
geographic origin of goods or services. For example, The TV Repair
Store or the Twin City Cleaning Supply Company. The problem with these
trademarks is they can only be protected if they show a secondary
Some Words Can't be Protected:
Stay away from words that are associated with goods or services but
don't have any other identifying features. If you pick a name like
"aspirin," for example, you receive no trademark protection.
for the right name for your products and services is not a simple task.
Ronald J. Cappuccio,
J.D., LL.M.(Tax) at (856) 665-2121 to
ensure the name is properly registered after a search
of existing trademarks has been completed.