Trademark-SelectionProcess of Trademark Selection

The level of legal trademark rights afforded to a trademark depends on the characteristics of the trademark. To gain the highest level of protection, a proposed trademark should not contain generic terms, descriptive words, geographic terms, or surnames. To achieve the highest level of protection for a proposed trademark, individuals should select a trademark or service mark that is highly distinctive and unique.

Trademark selection requires an entrepreneur to carefully consider all of his or her choices and should choose a trademark that will achieve a high level of success in the trademark registration process. An entrepreneur or business owner selecting a new trademark should consider whether the proposed trademark is generic, whether it contains descriptive terms, whether it is made up of abbreviations, acronyms, initials, and misspellings; whether it includes laudatory terms, geographic terms, and personal names. A business owner should also consider the different trademark classes.

The characteristics of a trademark will determine the level of legal protection afforded to a trademark owner. Distinctive and unique trademarks or service marks are typically afforded the highest level of legal protection and are not likely to face problems during the trademark registration process.

Trademark Distinctiveness

Trademarks that are distinctive and unique are typically afforded the highest level of legal protection.  Moreover, distinctive trademarks are more likely to achieve trademark registration without coming across problems during the trademark registration process. When a business owner or entrepreneur is going through the process of selecting a trademark, he or she should think of selecting a mark that sticks out among the competition.

This does not mean that the trademark an individual chooses for his or her business has to be vastly different and distinctive from other trademarks. Distinctiveness has many levels. The more distinct a trademark is, the higher the likelihood of a successful trademark prosecution with the USPTO.  The more distinct, however, may lead to marketing difficulties as consumers may have difficulty associating the trademark with the products and/or services offered. The less distinctive the trademark is, the lower the chances of a successful trademark prosecution but the easier it is to successfully market the trademark with the associated products and/or services.