Hafiz Zubir, Athirah & Co.

TRADEMARK DISTINCTIVENESS

The key criterion to a distinctive trademark is to have a trademark that has nothing to do with your product. The more distinguished a trademark design is, the easier it is to register the trademark and helps your brand stand out more in the crowd.

For example, the word “Apple” and its associated apple graphic logo are used for computer products, the word “Proton” used for cars, and “dUCk” associated with scarves.

Here are the five categories of distinctiveness ranging from highest to lowest:

Therefore, to ensure a good and distinctive trademark, as well as increase the chances of registrability, simply follow our guidelines below:

  1. Avoid Descriptive Words

Che Sue wants to sell Fried Chicken and comes up with a brand name; “Che Sue Fried Chicken”. Since the brand describes the nature or quality of the goods sold, the mark “Che Sue Fried Chicken” are not permitted to be registered. If registered, it would prevent anyone from using the words “fried” and “chicken” to describe their goods or services provided.

  1. Avoid Confusing Trademarks

Hafizah is excited to start her own coffee shop and since her business is new, she would like to create a brand that is close related to a famous brand that can optimize her business fast, she names her coffee shop as “Star-Buck” or “Startbucks”. This trademark is confusingly similar to an already registered trademark for a similar type of product, hence it cannot be registered and may be objected by the Starbucks Company itself for infringement.

  1. Avoid Generic Word, Get Creative

Faezah intends to register her beauty products entitle; “Pure Beauty”. Now, we have to keep in mind, the goal is to select a trademark that is unique and distinct. So instead of using generic words like “Red”, “Malaysia”, “Delicious” or even “Best”, it is better for you to come up with something creative and inventive that is completely unrelated to your product or service. Only then your trademark will be registrable and also sets you apart from other competitors in the market.

  1. Animal or Plant Names

We are sure you must have heard famous brands using animal or plant names for their products. For instance, “Bear” is an online store which sells small appliances products, “dUCk” is a brand well-known for its satin scarves and also “Mahogany” known as the House of Guitars, with the widest range and the largest inventory of instruments on display. Hence, animal and plant names tend to be memorable and, if used appropriately, can convey a good image while still being distinct.

 

To quote once again the infamous word of Primo Angeli; “A great trademark is appropriate, dynamic, distinctive, memorable and unique.”

 

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