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Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Using A Descriptive Trademark

Updated: Mar 17, 2023

You may be tempted to use a descriptive name for our products or services for the sake of easier recognition. However, this may not be the best strategy for long-term branding and trademark protection. In this article, we will discuss the top three reasons why you should not use a descriptive trademark, which could be detrimental to your business.

Reason 1 - It is not distinctive and difficult to stand out from competition

One of the key functions of a trademark is to distinguish your brand and products from your competitors. It is essential for building brand recognition and loyalty, and for establishing a strong presence in your market.

A descriptive trademark that simply describes your products or services may not be distinctive enough to fulfil this function. This can lead to confusion among consumers, and make it difficult for your brand to stand out in a crowded market.

For example, if you sell coffee and use a trademark such as "Delicious Coffee," it will not be distinctive from other coffee brands that also claim to be delicious. On the other hand, if you use an invented word such as "Starbucks," which has no direct connection to coffee, it becomes easier to differentiate your brand and create a strong identity that people will remember.

Similarly, if you sell shoes and use a trademark such as "Comfort Shoes," it will not be distinctive from other shoe brands that also claim to be comfortable. Instead, you could choose a trademark such as "Nike," which is not descriptive but has become synonymous with quality and performance.

By choosing a distinctive trademark, you can make your brand more memorable and more likely to be recognized and remembered by consumers.

Reason 2 - Easier to Trigger Objection from Trademark office

When you apply for a trademark registration, the Trademark Office will examine whether your trademark is distinctive enough to be registered. A descriptive trademark is more likely to be refused registration because it lacks distinctiveness. This can lead to delays and additional costs in the trademark registration process.

Additionally, even if your trademark is accepted for registration, it may be easier for your competitors to challenge your trademark and argue that it is devoid of distinctive character. This can result in costly legal battles and even the revocation of your trademark registration.

In general, the more distinctive your trademark is, the easier it is to register. However, even if your trademark is accepted for registration, it may still be challenged by other businesses in the same or similar fields. This can lead to costly legal battles that can take years to resolve.

To avoid this situation, it is important to conduct a trademark search before applying for registration. This will help you determine whether your trademark is already in use by another business or whether it is too similar to an existing trademark.

Reason 3 - When you cannot register the trademark, you lost exclusivity.

Finally, when you are unable to register your trademark, you lose the exclusive rights to use that trademark in connection with your products or services. This means that other businesses can use the same or similar trademark, leading to confusion among customers.

Without a registered trademark, it can also be more difficult to expand your business into new markets or to license your trademark to others. This can limit your growth potential and make it harder to protect your brand reputation.

Furthermore, if you are unable to register your trademark, it can be more difficult to prevent other businesses from using your trademark in bad faith. This can damage your brand reputation and lead to lost revenue.

The Risks of Operating a Business Without Trademark Registration

Without a registered trademark, your business is vulnerable to infringement by competitors. This can result in lost revenue, damage to your brand reputation, and legal battles that can be costly and time-consuming. Furthermore, if you are unable to register your trademark, you may not be able to prevent others from copying your brand or using a similar name, leading to confusion among consumers.

By registering your trademark, you gain legal protection and exclusive rights to use your brand name and logo in connection with your products or services. This can give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on growing your business, without the worry of infringement by competitors.

To avoid these risks, it is important to choose a distinctive and memorable trademark that is not merely descriptive of your products or services. This could be an invented word, a combination of words, or a unique design that is not easily imitated.

Furthermore, it is important to register your trademark with the appropriate authorities to ensure that you have legal protection and exclusive rights to use your brand name and logo. This can be a complex process, but it is essential to protect your brand and your business.

At IP Gennesis, we provide comprehensive advice on trademark protection and registration. We can help you to conduct a trademark search to evaluate whether your trademark is registrable, and guide you through the trademark registration process. With our help, you can protect your brand and grow your business. Contact us for free consultation today!

Written by,

Registered Trademark, Patent and Design Agent


Advocate & Solicitor (Non-Practising)

Disclaimer: The above information is merely for general sharing and does not constitute any legal advice. Readers are advised to seek individual advice from professionals.

© 2023 by IP Gennesis Sdn Bhd.

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