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The brand name is an important part of a company’s public appearance as well as its access to market shares. This is why it is crucial to choose the right brand name, says trademark attorney, Henriette V. Rasch.
A firm’s name, characteristics and trademarks are more important now than ever. Based on brands, we purchase and gain knowledge about products and services. Based on brands, we give and get recommendations. Based on brands, we find our way to websites.
In other words, firms have every reason to make a decent effort when choosing their name and brand characteristics.
Henriette V. Rasch, who works as a trademark attorney at Plougmann Vingtoft, says that it sounds simple from a legal perspective: “Choose a name you can keep and one that is difficult for others to copy”. However, she acknowledges that the task is not easy. In fact, choosing a brand name is a process, which is subject to many traditions and considerations.
Does industry-specific names belong in a constantly changing world?
“Many choose to let their industry or a description of the company’s services be a part of the name. For instance, “contractor” or “machine pool” and sometimes it is the right call, says Henriette V. Rasch.
From a marketing perspective, it can be beneficial to integrate the industry into the brand name as a descriptive element. It enhances the consumers’ knowledge about the brand, and it makes it easier to find the brand online. There are, however, some concerns in choosing an industry-specific brand name.
In many cases, careful and extensive strategic considerations are required in order to find the balance between a brand that works for marketing purposes and a brand that is legally safeHenriette V. Rasch, European Trademark & Design Attorney
Firstly, one cannot obtain the sole rights to descriptive elements. Secondly, descriptive elements in brand names often limit a brand to stay in a particular industry and appeal to a particular type of customer.
There are quite a few examples of firms that re-organize their business or form new partnerships in order to meet changing market demands. “In these cases, you should consider if your brand name is too industry specific. If so, it might be difficult for new customers to discover your products and services”, Henriette V. Rasch explains. Every day, she helps companies in deciding on brand names that are recognizable but still leave room for companies to develop in new directions.
A good name lasts
The launch of a company- or product name requires due diligence, and the general recommendation is to at least check the available databases in order to avoid picking a name that is similar to someone else’s – Google is a good place to start.
Further, you can visit different trademark databases to check brand availability before you kick-start your marketing efforts.
“In many cases, careful and extensive strategic considerations are required in order to find the balance between a brand that works for marketing purposes and a brand that is legally safe”, says Henriette V. Rasch.
An IP attorney can guide you through different strategic questions about your intellectual property strategy, such as ownership, geographic considerations and alignment with your general business plan.
“The sooner you contact an IP attorney, the easier it is for you and the attorney to make the right decisions for your firm”, Henriette V. Rasch concludes.
What you need to figure out before you apply for sole rights of your name or product
Brand name, concept and logo
Is the concept unique? Or did others apply for rights to something similar?Ownership
Who is supposed to be cited as the owner of the IP rights?The geography
Where is your product going to be produced and marketed? Is there a risk of others copying it or trying to secure the rights before you?The business plan
What do you need to protect? Which strategy will fit your business model?