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May 30, 2023
John Rizvi, Esq.

How to tell if your company or product name qualifies for a trademark

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Does your company or product name even qualified for a trademark? It is important to select a name for your company or your product that can be registered as a federal trademark. Prior to introducing the product or service in the marketplace. Businesses should be very careful in selecting a mark so that they retain the ability to obtain registration and can prevent others from using the name. Trademarks are classified into the following four categories generic, descriptive, suggestive, and arbitrary. Let's take a look at these categories in more detail. Starting with generic marks. trademark rights cannot exist in marks that are considered generic. A generic term is that common ordinary name of a good or service and can never be a trademark. Examples of generic terms include cornflakes, automobile, and basketball. descriptive marks descriptive marks describe some aspect of the product or service with which your name is used. trademark protection is only extended to descriptive marks where they have attained a secondary meaning. secondary meaning is attained when the Mark has been used for so long or so exclusively, that they do not convey simply their literal meaning in the public mind, but are instantly associated with one source. The next type of trademark is a suggested mark. Unlike descriptive marks suggestive marks merely suggest or hint at some quality, aspect or component of the goods or services with which they are used. A suggested mark is stronger than a descriptive mark because it does not require the showing of secondary meaning. Finally, you have arbitrary or fanciful marks. These marks are the most distinctive of all trademarks and receive the strongest level of protection. Such marks are typically unknown before they become associated with a product. A well known example of this is Kodak for photographic supplies. I hope this short overview of the different types of trademarks has been helpful contact me with any questions or if you'd like to take the next step in securing your company or product name.

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