What are qualities that can strengthen a trademark?

On Behalf of | Dec 30, 2022 | Business & Commercial Law

Choosing the right trademark for your business is crucial, and not just because you need a mark to represent your business to the public. A strong trademark is more likely to enjoy legal protection if another party attempts to use a mark identical or similar to yours.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office describes qualities that can make a trademark strong and increase the odds that a court will uphold your rights.

Suggestive marks

A word that is only descriptive of your product can be too generic and might not even receive approval by the U.S. government as a valid trademark. By contrast, you could use a word that indicates a specific quality of the goods or services offered by your business. This kind of use creates a suggestive trademark.

Arbitrary marks

Some businesses choose a word that has nothing to do with the products or services they offer, creating an arbitrary trademark. To take an example, you may use a word associated with food to sell electronics. This gives a word a unique meaning that it would not have if you used a word in connection with its usual definition.

Fanciful marks

An especially strong trademark is a word that you completely make up. This kind of mark derives its strength from the fact that the only meaning of the word comes from its relationship to your service or product. So a person who views a fanciful trademark is likely to only think of the business related to the mark.

Showing how your trademark is distinctive is likely to be a primary argument if you go to court to protect your interests. Creating a strong trademark from the outset could make the difference.