In past posts I’ve talked about coming up with company names, domain names and taglines. In each case, I recommend a follow up to the process of going to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website just to be sure you’re not immediately infringing on another mark. At $150,000 a pop, infringing on another person’s trademark is generally seen as a bad business move.
OK, let’s turn this idea around. This suggestion comes from our new copy writer Debbie Carbone! Instead of brainstorming and then going to the USPTO site, she suggests you go to the USPTO site to do your brainstorming.
Here’s what you do; Go to www.uspto.gov and click on the “How To Search” link in the top navigation. Then, at the top of the pink column, on the right, click on the “Search Trademarks Now” link. On the next page, click on the “Free Form Search (Advanced Search)” link. [Can you tell it’s a government site yet?]. In the search term box, type in a word or short phrase to see what the rest of the world has already registered.
Here’s the tricky part. You’re NOT trying to find a name or phrase from this list! Instead, use the list to inspire you. Take snippets and ideas. Mash them against other ideas. Create something new and fresh.
OF COURSE, after you’re done, you’ll still need to get your intellectual property attorney to do a final clearance check to be sure you’re good to go with your own trademark on this new masterpiece of a name or phrase. By the way, my IP attorney told me I had to put that last sentence in there. 😉