How Do I Trademark Product Names?

What are the specifics for trademarking the name of a product?

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TRANSCRIPT

There are a few things you can trademark: product names, service names, taglines, logos, and a few other things. But product names were the original reason for trademarking. You had a product, a physical product, and you had a brand name attached to it that you wanted to protect…

So how do you approach trademarking product names?

Ideally, you don’t want to have the type of your product trademarked as part of the name. Apple did not trademark “iPad Tablets”, they trademarked “iPad”. McDonald’s did not trademark “Big Mac Burgers”, they just trademarked “Big Mac”. So if you can possibly trademark your name without the description after it—that’s a stronger trademark, that would give you a lot more ways to go against somebody else who may want to use your name for something close, but not quite.

That’s especially important for the food industry where there is a lot of different possibilities, but the brand can be recognizable for the entire thing. So if you can get away with not adding the specific things that you’re selling under your brand, don’t add those things to your trademark application. If, however, there are confusingly similar trademarks or marks that are close, at that point in time you may want to play with the name and maybe add that limitation so that you have a good argument that, “Oh, that name was only trademarked for pizza, and it is says Tadada Pizza, and we’re not selling pizzas, we’ll never sell pizzas; all we’re selling is ice cream.” Instead of filing for “Tadada” by itself, you may want to file for “Tadada Ice Cream”, so that Tadada Pizza can’t do anything with you.


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


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