What's in a name?

More than you imagine.

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Branding : Brand, company, service, product names, naming conventions, and how to choose and protect a Mark (brand name).

Avoiding and resolving trademark, brand, product, service, and company name problems.
By Rob Cummings

I can help and become involved at any step at my normal hourly rate. ~ rob.

Trademarks rely on commerce which is fluid and ever changing, so what may be safe today may present problems 5 or 10 years later. There are ways to be safer.

Think of a trademark as a 'permit', rather than a license. As such, you must police and protect your mark, and always use your mark properly. The stronger your mark and its description are as a 'package', the better. Weak marks can be indefensible.

Many brand naming firms (companies that develop brand, product, service names), law firms, in-house counsel, marketing directors, and brand managers overlook these facts (in layman's terms):

  • A brand name (trademark or not) is not a 'license'.

  • A trademark is like a 'permit' where rights can (and often do) change

  • A brand name or trademark must be policed to retain rights and privileges

  • A trademark (even if not registered) must be applied and used properly

Naming and names that become strong brands are governed in commerce more so than law, so even the best trademark or Intellectual Property counsel may overlook the marketing and commerce-related aspects - features, opportunities, risks and liabilities - we will identify.

Oppositions based on names can be disastrous, and we help avoid them.

To prove that oppositions to names (which are law suits) are based in commerce more than law, see the Dupont Factors now - then come back here.

You may be a bit surprised about what really is in a name - risk and reward.

Though it rarely makes the News - the millions of dollars successful companies spend to keep their brand and product names - and defend them - is shocking - yet understandable once you understand naming and trademarks.

Cummings Design has created names for companies, products and services over 31+ years, and none had trademark problems, other than our own that was won.

Did you know you can fairly easily lose your name (and owe others)?

Trademark opposition or cancellation often comes as brands become famous - the worst possible timing - and not always very famous, just slightly 'more famous'.

A trademark opposition or cancellation proceeding is a law suit brought against you to stop using your name, company name, product name, service name, or any other brand name.

What most don't realize is that companies must oppose and petition to cancel trademarks and trade names - registered or not - to comply with legal doctrines.

Is a company you know opposing in your industry?

Go here and search entering the mark (the brand name) or the 'party' (the company). The TTAB handles what are essentially law suits over brand names - and they're plentiful and expensive.

Avoid a trademark problem from the start - and reduce the risk.

Casual company, brand, product service and/or domain naming can result in far greater risk and liability than many consider, or understand.

The most important asset of any company is names: company, product, service, brand names, and the biggest mistake of all is overlooking brand name safety. 

The wrong name can create incredible problems, put your entire business at risk, and make you liable for damages - whether you knew or not has no bearing.

Have a trademark problem? Click here
Need help applying for a trademark?
Click here

Choosing a 'smart name' is both trademark insurance and good marketing.

Company naming, brand naming, product naming, and domain naming are more complicated and more critical than ever before. Trademark insurance is not literal above, but assurance of avoiding trademark problems is, with our unique approach.

The approach we take to company naming, brand naming, product naming, service naming, and domain names involves many disciplines and considerations.

Aside from many other important considerations, our primary focus and expertise is in avoiding trademark problems based on law and business and forecasts.

Whether or not you plan on registering a trademark, avoiding trademark problems now and in the future is critical to your ongoing success, and possible.

We do in-depth research, analysis, consulting and make recommendations for your company, brand, product or service name, and/or domain name based upon brand name safety.

Backwards approach? Not if you want to keep your name.

Last but not least, the names and naming conventions we help develop are clever and memorable, easy to spell, work perfectly for marketing, though first and foremost the names carry minimal risk (so you don't have problems). 

The broad spectrum of name considerations include:

  • Search engine optimization potential

  • Trademark availability and potential for trademark problems

  • Avoiding trademark opposition - be sure to read this on opposition >>

  • Marketing potential

  • Design and application potential

  • Memory and spelling considerations

  • Competitive strategies and considerations

  • Potential for multiple meanings and considerations

  • Procedures to protect the name

  • Domain name availability (or lack of)

  • Translations and meanings in other languages/cultures

  • More

Learn more about why you need our help before you even use a name. >>


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