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12 Factors To Consider Before Picking & Registering Trademark

A trademark is defined as a symbol or words, which are legally registered to represent a company or product. It is also an identification for products or services.

Coming up with a trademark is not a one-day assignment that just anybody in a company can do. It can be a resource-intensive task that could take quite a long time to accomplish, and emotionally draining as well.

To successfully choose a trademark, there should be an agreement on who will be involved and how the trademark should be picked. It is vital for company personnel to decide on the message that the trademark should convey to consumers. They should also have an idea of how that message aligns with the company’s overall marketing plan and mission.

12 Factors To Consider Before Picking & Registering Trademark

It is not enough to think of a trademark and immediately begin the registration process. All the aspects in it needs to be evaluated. Online services like bonamark enable businesses to easily register a trademark in dozens of countries worldwide. Read through to see the factors to consider:

1. Avert Widely Used Or Detailed Terms
It is not advisable to use terms that are commonly used in that field of business because this may render minimal or no protection of the trademark. It is also good to note that trademarks describing the purpose, quality, or characteristics of products or services are weak and may not be registered.

2. Beware Of Conflict
Take caution not to pick a trademark that may have potential of facing conflicts. This will keep investors away, and will cost the company litigation.

3. Use Trademarks as Adjectives Not Nouns Or Verbs
A trademark should be followed by a word that clearly describes the product or services. For instance, you should not say ‘May I have a Kleenex’. Instead, it should be ‘May I have Kleenex Tissue’. Take note that how you use a trademark may negatively affect it is the extent of protection.

4. Trademarks Must Be Distinctive
Trademarks must be adequately distinctive as opposed to being descriptive words or phrases that may not be protected. A great example is - a restaurant may not be able to claim exclusive trademark rights for the term Restaurant and prevent competitors from using the term. The term Zip and Dee (not an existing restaurant) will easily be recognized as a source indicator because it is entirely made up and does not have an ordinary meaning. In this kind of scenario, Zip and Dee is protectable and Restaurant is not.

12 Factors To Consider Before Picking & Registering Trademark

5. The First User Of A Trademark Wins Exclusive Rights
This is to say that the first company or individual to provide product and services under a particular trademark gets the exclusive right to use it. This means that the first user can exclude others from using the same trademark on products and services that may be similar to the first user.

6. Booking An Application To Register A Trademark
Registration may not be the most important factor. However, it is done to notify everyone regarding the claims to a trademark. This is done especially if the company’s use of the trademark may not begin for a period. While the first user to provide product and services gets exclusive rights to the trademark, the first to register and file can also get exclusive rights even if they are not using the trademark yet.

7. Use The Trademark To Exclude Others and Maintain Rights
Using the trademark enables you to be identified as the owner of certain products or services. If the trademark is not being used for almost three years, you will lose the right to it.

8. Identical Trademarks Are Allowed As Long As They Do Not Confuse The Consumer
Trademarks that are identical may be used by different product and service providers at the same time as long as it does not cause any confusion to consumers. In other words, two trademarks can co-exist as long as consumers do not get disoriented on whether the two users are related. An actual example of this is - DOVE trademark for a soap and DOVE for an ice cream. 

9. Think About Whether The Trademark Is Low Risk
Ideally, a trademark cannot not proceed if another individual or company has already registered it. To ensure that your trademark is not rejected, be certain that:
o It is not visually and articulately similar to other trademarks
o It does not agree with any legal models that would render it fit for opposition
o It is not similar to trademarks that belong to companies, which are known for filing opposition.
If a company meets the three requirements above, it may be concluded that the trademark is good to proceed.

10. Does The Trademark Support The Company’s Long-Term Goals?
This is about ascertaining whether the trademark is broad enough to accommodate any future changes. In case of expansion of business, and you want to add new services other than the ones declared under the particular trademark, you would have to go through the search process again. It is advisable to select a trademark that will grow with the company for years to come.

11. Is There Adherence To Common Law?
Trademark rights are granted to individuals or companies if they can both:
o Provide proof that they were the first to use the trademark in their region.
o Provide proof that a transactional exchange of commerce has happened. 

12. Are There Appropriate Global Regions?
In the event that your company may want to expand internationally, you should be able to conduct as many regional or international searches. The earlier the search is done, the better, because it will save you the time and effort that may come with just moving forward with a trademark.

It is important to note that choosing and registering a trademark is not as easy as it may sound. However, the advantages that a trademark gives a business is really worth the hardship in obtaining it. You need to consider the factors discussed above before embarking on the actual application for registration.