There are many things that serious trademark owners do throughout the lifecycle of a trademark to mitigate risk, protect the valuable goodwill in their underlying brand, and preserve their valuable investment in this important intellectual property asset. Here is a fairly extensive, but certainly not exhaustive, and often forgotten, list of those things:

  1. Clear new

–Susan Perera, Attorney

It’s that time of year again, when retail stores featuring ghosts, goblins, and all things spooky begin to appear. This year multiple parties went trick or treating at the USPTO to register their trademarks for Halloween retail store services, and apparently they weren’t all reading Steve’s post from earlier this year regarding

If you don’t mind the wait, a crowded parking lot is often a good strategy when hunting for an excellent restaurant while you’re in unfamiliar territory. Similarly, a large crowd lining up outside a retail store is typically a good sign that the business is doing something right, or perhaps, they just happen to have something rare that everyone wants.

Last week we blogged about the dreaded D-Word and how some marketers unwittingly undermine trademark rights in a brand name by explaining that the name "describes" or is "descriptive" of the goods or services sold under the brand.

We also have blogged about the danger of "taking a suggestive name, mark, or tag-line, and using it descriptively in

I’m thrilled to have this platform to vent about a long-standing beef: awkward, made-up product and company names. Trademark lawyers call them coined.

Among the worst offenders are automobiles, technology and finance. When I was a kid, cars had names like Roadmaster, Thunderbird and Catalina. Now a prospective car buyer has to wade through an alphanumeric sea of names like IS, GLK350 and FX35.

I don’t blame trademark lawyers … exactly. But the need for a strong, legally defensible name no doubt accounts for some of the odd lexicography we see.

I reserve most of my reproach for the naming consultants who come up with these clunkers and the corporate executives who think that a vague name containing an X will magically transform their company into a paragon of the new economy.

See if you can match these 10 names to the products or services they represent. Warning: One of them is a complete fake, made up by me!

1. Celero                                   a. dental insurance

2. Tolamba                               b. private mortgage banking

3. Onvio                                     c. oil and gas operations

4. Fortex                                    d. email relationship manager

5. Xobni                                     e. fake!

6. Opteum                                 f. motion control equipment

7. Contango                              g. trading software

8. Nexxar                                   h. wealth management services

9. Provantis                               i. money transfer services

10. Graxxion                              j. allergy treatment

Answers are below the jump.


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four tractors face forward

As you’ll see, I’m no equestrian (nor equine expert for that matter), but given the non-verbal logos shown above, are you able to tell what company operates a fleet of these semi tractor-trailers?

Does the color of the horse help? Horse breed? The direction it is facing? How about its pose?

Some possible considerations and the answer below the jump.


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