Selection of a Trademark or Brand name
It is difficult and important to choose a brand name or trade mark carefully, for it is tedious and expensive to make any change after it has been put into use.
It is also necessary to consider the legal provisions governing the use of a brand or trade mark in order to avoid unnecessary and costly harassment later on. Courts protect trade mark rights only when they actually exist at the time an action is brought before them.
While selecting a particular brand, due caution should be exercised to eliminate certain words which are either not required by law or which, from the point of view of a monopoly, are unsatisfactory.
Names to avoid while selecting trademark or brand name
Some important points to be borne in mind or things to avoid while selecting a trademark or brand name are given below.
1. Names already in use should be avoided: Any word that is an imitation or duplication of any brand or trade mark already in use in connection with goods of the same kind should not be used.
2. Descriptive terms should be avoided: Descriptive terms should not be used as a brand name or a trade mark, which include all words that show the kind or quality or use of the product, or which praise the quality of the goods or recommend or advertise their quality. For example, the words “Cork Tipped” should not be used as a trade mark or brand for cigarettes. First, because descriptive terms are not registrable, and secondly because they do not constitute a monopoly. Anyone who has the right to use the English language may also apply them to his product.
3. Geographical names should be avoided: Geographical names are also objectionable to be used as a trade mark or brand name. They are not registrable except in exceptional circumstances.
4. Family names should be avoided: Family names are sometimes unsatisfactory to be used as brand name or a trade mark, though there are a great many well-known trademarks that are family names: Colgate, Waterman, Tata, Birla, Vimal, Mafatlal, Bajaj, Patanwala, etc.
The main objection against them is that family names may become troublesome, for others entitled to the same name have the right to use it is connection with a product of the same class.