There are few things that can be as fun and exciting as creating a business trademark. Whether starting a new business or modernizing the look of an established company, trademarks are arguably the most identifying feature of a business. A strong and unique trademark can help consumers identify a company at a glance, whether it’s a locally-known Texas supermarket chain or a nationally-recognized auto brand.
However, just as with many other business aspects, trademarks can be copied or infringed upon. This is one reason why it’s important to establish a distinctive trademark that’s easily distinguishable. There are several ways to create a strong trademark:
- Invent or coin a term for the trademark that has no meaning to other businesses or individuals;
- Use a dictionary definition or phrase that is unrelated to the company’s services or products but creates interest;
- Design a stylized symbol, pattern or letter that’s unlike others in the business world and can become easily recognizable or even iconic;
- Search business directories and online for trademarks in the preferred region of business before settling on a design; and
- Be aware of local phrases and customs so that a trademark does not accidentally offend or confuse foreign customers.
Keep in mind that trademarks that consist of generic words or descriptive terms may not be strong enough to be registered or protected by law.
A business owner can protect his or her exclusive right to the trademark if it is infringed. To do so, the owner must prove, among other things, that the trademark is legally protected and valid, that the business owns the mark, and that the infringer’s use of the mark could cause confusion among consumers.