A new study from the Harvard Law Review asks the question: “Are We Running Out of Trademarks?” Trademarks are words, symbols, or phrases used by businesses and services and their products. This new empirical study suggests that while word combinations may be infinite, the availability of ‘useful’ trademarks is shrinking.
According to research, good trademarks follow several patterns.
- A common, easy to remember word or phrase in English
- Shorter than seven letters or two syllables
- Follows certain sound patterns
- Can be registered as a .com
Finding a word that matches all of the above descriptions is nearly impossible for new businesses. Out of the 100,000 most common words in the English language, about 75,000 of them are trademarked. While businesses and entrepreneurs are allowed to apply for an existing trademark in a different ‘class’, it can create a competitive disadvantage. When you hear the word ‘UBER’, you probably think of the transportation company, not the razor blade company, construction company, or vitamin company, all of which also have trademarked the word ‘UBER’. Then there are also the companies that have trademarked ‘ÜBER’.
See the full study here.
Finding the perfect trademark for your product or business can be a challenge. An intellectual property attorney can help you with all of the necessary legwork to research and secure your ideas. The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth offers free legal consultations for anyone seeking trademark help. Call us today at 888-517-9888.