Picking Trademark Names for Your Interior Design Business
The type of business name you chose for your interior design firm matters when it comes to registering a trademark - and for running a successful and growing interior design business. Whether you decide to register a trademark or not, keeping the office’s guidelines in mind can help you choose a name and logo that reflects your design business, approach and style and yours only.
Here are some tips:
Avoid Common Names
The USPTO seeks distinctive names and will not trademark common, generic names or terms
Trademarks are rarely granted to names or symbols easily confused with existing trademarks. This may include exact replicas, names that are similar in pronunciation or spelling to an existing trademark, and logo designs reminiscent of registered ones.
Search Names & Domains
In choosing the name of your design business, searches of the U.S. trademark office database and internet domain names (see section below) can help determine which names are already in use
Make up Words
The key to a good name - besides being easy to read and pronounce, of course - is to be sure that it is indeed distinctive. Making up new words, or adding letters to existing words is a tried and true method. Google, Xerox, Spotify, and Kleenex are just a few vocabulary words that did not exist before these brands added them to our lexicon.
Personal Names Work (Sometimes) Choosing personal names worthy of trademarks can be challenging, but companies such as Warby Parker and Ben & Jerry’s have succeeded in doing so.
Sometimes putting common words together in unusual ways can also create a business title fitting of the trademark roster, while reflecting what the product is: Think Walkman, Rollerblade and Super Glue.
Be Descriptive, but Brief
Whatever business name you choose for your interior design firm, make sure potential clients know what you are: an interior designer. Then, make sure the name reflects your design style, philosophy and services offered.
For more tips, read How to Name Your Interior Design Business.
How Do I Trademark My Interior Design Business Name?
If you are ready to get started in registering the trademark your interior design business name, here are the next steps and what to expect throughout the trademark application journey:
1. Make Your Plan
Create a concrete name (see tips above) and concept for your trademark and determine if you want to trademark just the name of your interior design business, or a logo too. If you’re not sure, you can always start with the name and add the logo later. Search the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database to make sure your name or logo is not already registered. Also, search beyond the database to assure that the name is not being used with an unregistered trademark. Government and state databases of all registered businesses can help. You can also try searching domain databases like GoDaddy and Name.com, combined with other internet search engines.
File your application once you are confident that the name of your design business is distinctive enough to earn a registered trademark. Hiring a lawyer can help you cross the t’s and dot the i’s on the application, but is not required.
3. Follow the Application’s Progress
Stay updated on your application process. The USPTO may ask questions or seek additional documentation. Respond to inquiries quickly to keep your application on track.
4. Objections are Possible
Other parties have 30 days to contest your trademark request if they think it infringes on their trademark or is so similar that it would cause confusion among potential clients. If an opposition is filed, you will need to work with the office to respond and resolve any issues.