PRAVO helps customers register their trademarks so that their businesses can be protected. Trademarks are considered amongst the most critical and valuable assets that a company owns. A different and unique trademark ensures that a business is on its way to building public goodwill and a reputation for its brand in the goods and services it is aiming to sell. A trademark can be any word, name, symbol or even a device that shows that the source of the goods and services being sold is a particular party represented by the trademark. Similar to trademarks are service marks. Service marks are words, names, symbols or devices that identify and differentiate services of a company from another. Service marks are often referred to as trademarks.
A trademark or a service mark can be a word, logo, slogan, unique package design or any other indicator that shows that a particular product or service is different from others in the market.
Selecting a trademark is not an easy job and it may be enticing to choose a word or phrase which seems catchy and perfectly describes the characteristics of the goods and services being offered. However, using words and terms that are too obvious can be difficult to protect as trademarks of a product or service. As a general rule, the more the description, the easier it gets to copy.
The more unique and distinctive a trademark is, the more popular it becomes and the scope of its protection becomes wider. Trademarks which are considered the strongest generally have no meaning in relation to the goods and services that are being offered. However, trademarks do suggest the positive qualities that the good or service holds.
Generally trademarks can be put into different categories based on their uniqueness or strength:
- Fanciful or coined trademarks:
These trademarks are merely words which are made up and have no particular meaning if used other than a brand name. Such marks are generally the most protected and hard to infringe.
- Arbitrary or random trademarks:
Arbitrary trademarks include those words which may be used in our everyday lives, but have no relation to the goods and services being sold.
- Suggestive trademarks:
Suggestive trademarks are those marks which suggest some benefit or advantage of the products or services that are being sold. These trademarks do not describe the product itself.
- Descriptive trademarks:
In most countries around the world, terms that describe the products and services being offered cannot be protected with a trademark unless the general public identify them as trademarks. In this case, the trademark is believed to have an acquired uniqueness or secondary meaning. Terms can acquire this status by thoroughly using and advertising them. This also includes laudatory words, geographically descriptive words which suggest the association of the product or service with a particular place.
A trademark that is deceptive in nature or in geographic terms, that falsely suggest any relation with a particular place, cannot be registered as trademarks or service marks.