How can I make my trademark less descriptive of my business offering?

Photo of Jan Buza

Written by Jan Buza

Co-founder of Trama

When it comes to registering a trademark, even established businesses might have a name that is not trademarkable, and having a brand name descriptive of the offering (imagine 'SuperEd' for educational services) is one of the examples where approval would be tough to get. Therefore, if you are still searching for a brand name and know you might want to trademark it at some point, you might want to avoid descriptive names.

So, how do you do that in practice? Our recommendation would depend on what exactly your business name is and how it describes your goods or services, but generally, here are a couple of options you can consider:

  • Adding your name to the brand name, such as Luke's Lemonade.
  • Instead of words directly describing the offering, use words that describe a certain quality of your goods/services. Jaguar is the perfect example of this type of trademark. While 'speed' or 'fast' would be considered generic words owned by the public that no one can claim, 'jaguar' in the context of cars signals essentially the same, without being a commonly-used word in this context.
  • Use made-up words, such as Pepsi or Kodak.
  • Use words that are otherwise common but not in relation to your offering. Examples here include Shell for gasoline services and Camel for cigarettes.
  • If you are already using your brand name and don't want to pivot completely, you can try registering a graphical logo instead.

You can read more on this topic in our article How can I increase distinctiveness of my trademark?

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