Reasons to create a safe name for a company, product or service – for a trademark – or just to use in business.
Company, product and service naming today is trickier than ever due to the Internet, globalization, and the mergers of multinational corporations.
On the Internet it’s usually not long until someone in the world finds your new name, and if that name happens to infringe on the rights of another, or even if another believes so, you face the possibility of a trademark infringement law suit.
A trademark infringement law suit often begins with a demand to cease and desist use of your name. Your name is a trademark or ‘Mark’. The cease and desist order typically is a letter that you must timely respond to or face the consequences the cease and desist letter describes.
Generally a cease and desist letter demands that you cease all use of your name and eliminate everything with the name on it in 5 days or face legal action. The amount of time you have to stop all use varies, yet not dramatically.
Creating a safe name, and one that’s good for marketing, and one that has an available URL, and one that also may need to meet other criteria, is a long, painstaking process where cutting corners only results in increased liability.
Create and use brand, product, company and service names with trademark laws in mind, and you win. If you do not, you really might lose everything with the name.
A safe and extremely well-researched name will limit the chances of being accused of infringement or facing an opposition or law suit.
A smart choice of the exact name (Mark) and specific goods and services you apply for in connection with the Mark will reduce the chances of a refusal by the trademark office and the name never being allowed a trademark registration, and also limit the chances of an objection, now and in the future.
A trademark must be unique and distinctive for the goods or services associated with it, and must be dissimilar to any other in the marketplace.
A trademark is never a license and even if you obtain a registration, another can later Petition to Cancel your Mark, and make you stop all uses.
The biggest mistakes I see are people creating Marks that are obvious, and in a similar vein, creating Marks that sound like other famous names in their industry.
I spend a lot of time helping people that did not do naming properly – and helping them keep their name when they face objection, more common than ever.
I did my own naming safely and still had to defend myself. At least I could win – and the reason is I was smart in the beginning – when I chose the name.