What are the Steps Associated with Getting a Trademark?

Pick a Mark

In general, CHOOSE

  • Invented or coined words:

    • These are strong trademarks because they don’t have any prior associations among consumers. Ideally, in international markets, the mark should have no meaning in any known language.
    • In this category are such trademarks as EXXON or KODAK.
  • Arbitrary marks:

    • These are also strong marks in that they are common words but used in association with incongruous products or services.
    • For example ARCTIC for pineapples, or APPLE for computers or POLAR for pens.
  • Suggestive marks:

    • A word or mark that, when used with products or services, requires imagination to arrive at a conclusion about the nature of the product.
    • For example UBER, which means super in German as used in association with ride sharing services is a suggestive trademark

In general, AVOID

  • Descriptive marks which convey information about the product or service (like an ingredient, a quality, characteristic, function, feature, purpose or use of the product or service).

    • For example, SUPER or A1.
  • Words that describe the product or service.

    • For example, SHREDDED WHEAT for cereal that consists of shredded wheat.
  • Words that have undesirable meanings in countries where you want to do business.

    • For example, NOVA as a mark for a car might be a problem in a Spanish speaking country because when you emphasize the last syllable the word means “it won’t go” which would for obvious reasons make the car an undesirable purchase.
Yes, some signs or symbols are prohibited from becoming trademarks for public policy reasons. For example, most countries will exclude their national symbols as well as international symbols like a red cross or a red crescent, for example.
Last modified: Wednesday, 4 October 2017, 4:49 PM