Choosing a Trademark Name

Hey everybody, it’s Steve, Chief Paralegal
here at Gerben Law Firm. In this video, we’re going to look at the different types of trademark
names that you can register and how much legal protection you can expect to get for those
names. So, let’s look at this handy dandy chart I made up. I broke it down into four
different types of trademark names: coined, fanciful, suggestive and descriptive. The
first three are going to give you the strongest degree of legal protection. So, let’s go through
them. Coined terms, what’s a coined term? Well,
it’s just a made up word. So Kodak, great example. It doesn’t mean anything but now,
everybody associates it with cameras and film. Next is fanciful. Fanciful is a word that
is not readily associated with the product or service you’re selling. Apple Computers,
best example there. Before Apple Computers, an apple was just an apple. And finally, as
far as strong degrees of legal protection, there’s suggestive marks. These are essentially
one step away from describing precisely what the product or service does. So here, we’ve
got Lava Salsa. Salsa is descriptive, it describes what the product is; obviously, it’s salsa.
Lava is suggestive. Because lava’s hot, so we’re suggesting this is hot salsa. These — suggestive, fanciful, coined — all
strong degrees of legal protection. A descriptive trademark is basically exactly what you would
think. Health Vitamins describes exactly what you’re selling. You also see laudatory here,
this is under the umbrella of a descriptive mark. Laudatory lauds the product or service.
Amazing Vitamins, Super Vitamins, these are descriptive marks. They’re considered weak
and they would be registered on the supplemental register. Some people are surprised to learn
that there is a principal and supplemental register for trademarks. If you want to get
more into the detail of the legal implications for them, call Josh. 800-281-6275. Free consultation. But, as a brief overview, the principal register,
it’s going to be much easier to sue people and enforce your trademark rights; more difficult
on the supplemental register. So, is it necessarily bad to have a descriptive mark? No. Sometimes
you just need to cut to the quick and you need your potential client base to know exactly
what you do. But again, if you can come up with a coined, fanciful or suggestive mark,
it will make it way easier to enforce your legal rights. Now, if you guys have any further
questions, like I said, give Josh a call. He’d be happy to talk with you. Thanks for
watching and check back soon for more videos.

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