What Are the 3 Types of Business Trademarks?

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trade-mark registration conceptBusiness Trademarks Explained by Chicago Business Lawyers

A strong trademark will help you establish the uniqueness of your brand and separate you from the competition. A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, design, or combination of these entities. A successful business cannot thrive without one.

The lack of a unique trademark can ruin your chances of establishing a strong business brand as well as establishing a loyal customer base. Potential customers will not be able to identify your product or service from thousands of others of a similar type.

Registering with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the road to having a product trademarked.

Owners of trademarked products and services enjoy advantages that their competitors don’t have:

  • Brand Protection
  • Fraud and Counterfeit Protection
  • Customer Connectivity and Product Assurance
  • Superior Product Identification among Consumers

3 Types of Business Trademarks

When it comes to how to trademark a business name, an owner has three options to consider from which to choose: Arbitrary and Fanciful, Suggestive, and Descriptive Trademarks.

An arbitrary trademark and fanciful trademark refer to a strong word, phrase, or symbol. But the word has nothing to do with the item it represents.

Think of companies associated with the trademark words Apple, Amazon, Coach, and Shell Gas Stations. The original meaning of these words is already in consumer consciousness, but they represent an entirely different meaning than trademarked words which makes these trademarks arbitrary.

Further, they are unique and have become more popular with the use of the associated product. Other examples include Lexus and Verizon. Attaching a fanciful word to a product or service will immediately set the brand apart because no one else is using the word, phrase, or symbol.

A suggestive trademark does not directly state the uniqueness of a product but is indicative of specific qualities that make the product or service stand out in the crowd. When customers hear the name of the product, certain qualities associated with it come to mind. For example, when the names Jaguar or Lamborghini are mentioned, people usually think of luxury, status, or distinctiveness.

A descriptive trademark identifies a feature or aspect of a particular product or service, such as fast-food restaurants, American Airlines, or power computing. Some of these words or phrases can and have become quite popular with continuous use over time. If this is the case, and you believe your product is popular enough, you can consider registering for trademark status.

Nevertheless, in the beginning, you may have trouble trying to fully protect your brand from competitors who desire to use the same descriptive words.

trademark copyright identity branding product conceptHow To Trademark a Business

When trademarking a product, an owner should consider several questions. For example, what category is right for my brand? Is my mark too generic? Is my trademark already in use?

Once you have decided to register for a trademark, the approach is simple, especially with a good trademark attorney.

  1. Choose a trademark
  2. Search for similar marks
  3. Identify Product or Service
  4. File and Submit Application, after establishing a USPTO.gov account

You will either receive approval or denial of your application.

You should consider choosing one of Anthony J. Madonia & Associates Ltd., a law firm of licensed business attorneys in Illinois. They will provide you with clarity and direction. A top-tier business attorney in Chicago will represent you in all aspects of deciding, registering, and maintaining your trademark for years to come. Secure your trademark with Anthony J. Madonia & Associates Ltd. Call us today to have an appointment with one of our lawyers.