“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
Well, Shakespeare obviously hadn’t heard of trademark law!
Protecting the brand value and reputation associated with the name that you choose for your company is becoming increasingly important in today’s world. After spending time and money towards marketing your brand, it’s disheartening and often impractical to have to start the process all over again.
And so the question that arises is how do you choose a name that can be protected under trademark law? Applying for trademark registration of your company name is one thing but how do you choose a name that has a good chance to actually to get registered?
The answer to this question becomes apparent when one understands that the purpose of trademark law is to protect the consumer from confusion as trademarks essentially act as indicators of the source of a product or service.
Therefore, the name that you choose for your business should be distinctive and unique. Avoid using general words like ‘export’ or ‘finance’. The name should not also not directly describe the products or services in relation to which it will be used, so for instance steer clear from words like ‘furniture’ or ‘advertising’. It should also not include any words which have become customary in your business or trade. It is also important to avoid common names or surnames as part of your company name. An invented or coined name will always have better chances of being registered.
Avoid using a name that is identical or even similar to the name of a company that is doing the same or even a similar business to yours. It is advisable to do a trademark availability search before finalizing your company name to check if there are any trademarks that could potentially cause a conflict.
Keeping the above in mind while choosing your company name will help in not only obtaining a trademark registration but will also minimize the risk of allegations of infringement in the future.
Check list for choosing your company name
- The name should be distinctive and unique.
- Avoid names that are descriptive of the products or services of your business.
- Avoid words which have become customary in your business.
- Avoid common names or surnames.
- Avoid using a name that is identical or even similar to the name of a company that is doing the same or even a similar business to yours.
- Conduct a trademark availability search.