Choose a name suitable for brand protection

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Natasha Walker, Registered Trademark Lawyer at Adamson Jones IP Ltd, highlights some key points to consider when choosing a name for your product or service.

A trademark is usually a word, logo, or a combination of both, that one company uses on its products or in connection with its services, that cannot be used by another company without the permission of the registered owner. A registered trademark is a monopoly right that lasts indefinitely (assuming the renewal fee is paid once every 10 years!).

Be distinctive

Your brand is important because it is how the consumer distinguishes your company’s products and/or services from those of another.

Deciding on a new brand can be difficult. When selecting a new mark, it should be remembered that a mark may be objected to if it has descriptive content or lacks distinctiveness.

A strong mark is a distinctive mark in relation to the goods and services for which protection is sought. A good example is APPLE for computers and cell phones. Distinctive brands that are totally made up words also make great brands, for example LEMSIP for cold and flu medicines or KODAK for cameras.

Avoid descriptive names

Descriptive trademarks are generally preferred by business owners because they communicate to the public the use or purpose of the goods or services offered. A purely descriptive mark is generally not registrable due to the need to keep the descriptive word free for all business owners to use.

It should be remembered when choosing a new trademark that trademarks are difficult to protect where they are:

  • Description of the goods/services to be protected;
  • misleading in that they will mislead a member of the public as to the characteristics of the goods/services provided and/or;
  • Unable to distinguish the goods and services of the application from those of a third party.

A good trademark should be easy to recognize and enforce, while a bad trademark is often difficult to register and can potentially lead to disputes with third parties.

Check for any regulatory issues specific to your industry

In the pharmaceutical and medical technology sectors, business owners tend to opt for semi-descriptive marks so that the public and clinicians can easily understand what the products sold under the mark are for while recognizing that the mark is distinctive. It is also an important part of the regulatory assessment of these products (i.e., does the brand name pose a health or safety risk or does the brand name create potential confusion about its use for the public and/or clinicians?).

Perform an authorization search

When deciding on a new trademark (especially in the medical technology and pharmaceutical sectors), it is important to search the relevant trademark registers for clearance to ensure that there are no has no prior conflicting marks that interfere with your freedom to use and record your choice. Brand.

When similar prior trademark registrations are identified by a search, these may present a risk of potential oppositions and, more importantly, a risk of trademark infringement.

Authorizing a trademark for use in the pharmaceutical sector is a long and complex process. A lot of time needs to be factored in when considering a new brand for your pharmaceutical product to ensure there is enough time to do thorough clearance searches and complete the approval process. registration.

When considering a new brand for pharmaceuticals, it is advisable to select more than one brand and do comprehensive research on those brands. Not only do you need to clear the mark from an infringement perspective, but you will also need to ensure that the mark is acceptable to the relevant regulatory body. Due to strict pharmaceutical regulations, you will need regulatory approval to sell your products under the brand name you select, and it’s always best to allow a few options in case you don’t get approval. regulation for your favorite brand.

As a business owner, you don’t want to be threatened or sued for trademark infringement. The damage to your business caused by the rebranding and/or the risk that damages must be paid to a third party could be catastrophic for your business and your brand. The search for liquidation is riskand we always recommend hiring a professional to ensure you are fully informed of the risks of launching under your chosen new brand.

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