Can I Trademark Dictionary Words?

Even though there are thousands of examples that provide an obvious answer to this question, a lot of people are still asking it.

Does the fact that a word is found in a dictionary prevent it from being registered as a trademark?

Can a phrase that consists of nothing but words found in a dictionary be trademarked?

Again, the answer is pretty obvious, but watch the video below for details:

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TRANSCRIPT

And the answer to that question is, yes, as long as you are not trying to to register as a trademark the words that describe what it is that you do.

So Apple is a registered trademark, but Apple did not get trademark for apples. They got their trademark for stuff related to computers. Same thing with Windows. Windows is a dictionary word, but they are not in the business of selling windows, they are in the business of selling software.

Likewise, you can't trademark the word Chair if you’re selling chairs, but you can easily register the trademark Chair, if you're selling apples.

Just because the name is a dictionary word does not necessarily mean that you can’t trademark it. You have to be careful to make sure that the name does not describe, or doesn't point to the specific product or service that you’re using and trying to protect as a trademark.

But just because it's found in a dictionary doesn't mean that it can't be trademarked.


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Disclaimer: Please note that this post and this video are not and are not intended as legal advice. Your situation may be different from the facts assumed in this post or video. Your reading this post or watching this video does not create a lawyer-client relationship between you and Trademark Factory International Inc., and you should not rely on this post or this video as the only source of information to make important decisions about your intellectual property.

See our answers to other frequently asked questions about trademarks or leave your comments below!


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