Pick the Right Trademark

When you create a brand name, the relative strength of the words you choose directly affects how well you will be able to protect the goodwill your brand builds.

When The Home Depot was getting off the ground in 1979, its founders searched for just the right name. They rejected choices like MB's Warehouse, Homeplace and Bad Bernie's Buildall in favor of the name that is now synonymous with home improvement.

How did they do it? An associate was driving past a restaurant made out of an old railroad car. She was looking for words that sounded good with "home" and the name The Home Depot was born (depot being a railroad station and also a place where large quantities of a commodities are stored).

Combining two words that are compatible with your product or service is one way to come up with a trademark. But keep in mind that not all trademarks can be protected under the law and registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

A mark can be protected if it is sufficiently distinctive from another trademark that identifies a similar product or service. It can be a word, a symbol or a picture. Ordinary names receive little, if any, protection under trademark law and can't be federally registered.

The Strongest Categories Include:

The Weakest Category Is:

Words that  Can't be Protected Are:

Searching for the right name for your products and services is not a simple task. Get legal help to ensure the name is properly registered after a search of existing trademarks has been completed.

Choose a unique trademark to protect your company. The more distinctive it is, the easier it will be to exclude similar trademarks from the marketplace.

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