Proper Selection and use of Trademarks

1. You must choose your Trademark with care so as to ensure that it :

  • Should not be Descriptive of the product eg. Bioscope for cinematographic apparatus
  • Should not be Suggestive. To test if a mark is suggestive of the product or quality tell a total stranger and ask him to guess what the product could be. If he cannot guess the product, the mark is a good one.
  • Should not have any direct reference to the quality or the character of the goods.
  • Should not be a Geographical name or the name of some place or a surname or a personal name or the name of any sect, caste or tribe in India
  • Should not be a common abbreviation
  • Should not be a government symbol, flag, coat of arms, etc.
  • Preferably it should not be a dictionary word.

2. Keep in mind that the main object of having a trademark is not to be only cute and catchy or to select a mark just because it sounds or feels good. A mark should be chosen keeping in mind that it will contribute to the goodwill of your company. The goodwill always translates into money and is usually always assigned to the trademark. If the mark is a weak or poor one you will only be the looser. The intention should be to ensure long term gains and to avoid expense on litigation against other trade mark holders.

3. Ideally the name and logo should be registered separately whenever possible. Name and logo combinations are weak trademarks.

4. Do not do differential capitalization ie. part of the mark in capitals eg. SpedTech. It would be the same as “spedtech” or “SPEDTECH” or even “Sped Tech”.

5. Do not rely totally upon Advertising agencies to choose your mark.

6. Do not copy another persons mark however good it may sound because once you have set up your business and expended money on your product and on advertising it, you could easily loose any right (if you ever had any) to the mark. If your product is good you will carve a niche for yourself without riding piggyback on someone else.

7. The proper use of a Trademark will ensure that the mark is not diluted:

  • Differentiate the trademark from words around it — use the mark either in all capitals, bold print, quotation marks, italics or in some other special form.
  • Use the mark as an adjective and not as a noun. It is wrong to say – buy Camlin. The right way would be to say – buy Camlin ink
  • Always indicate that you have some right in the mark by using ® if registered and “TM” or “Trademark” if not registered.
  • Do not use the trademark in the possessive form. wrong – the H.P’s ecofast mode can print 1000 pages. Instead say that in the ecofast mode of the H.P. printer can print 1000 pages
  • Do not use the mark in the plural form. Ronny uses only BATA’s
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