Choosing a name isn’t just about finding one that works. It’s about finding one that you can own.

We consider trademark one of the most essential elements in the entire naming process. More important than URL. More important than SEO. It’s the net over which your brand balances.

Securing a registered trademark pays dividends in the long run because it gives you ownership of your name and the equity associated with it. No one can take that away from you. And, when push comes to shove, legally owning a name will save you time, money, and the burden of potential rebranding. Sure you can skip trademark registration. We’ll just go ahead and link you to the renaming page now.

How we fold trademark considerations into our process

We’re not lawyers, by any means, but we work with some of the best. When clients request a trademark search and screening, we send names to an independent IP (intellectual property) attorney for preliminary screening. This happens before names are presented – to avoid any heartbreak from otherwise avoidable legal conflicts, like trademark infringement. During the screening process, names are checked across specific trademark classes and goods and services, which are usually specified by the client (see FAQ for more info).

Simply having the same name as another company isn’t immediately a conflict – it’s more about consumer confusion or finding similarly-named companies, products, or services that could be confused with yours. Based on conflicts found, each name receives a grade on a scale of A-F. And like our school quizzes vying for fridge door real estate, we only present names with an A or B grade. It’s worth noting that this screening doesn’t include common law conflicts (businesses using unregistered trademarks). Those can be identified if a client chooses to do a deeper legal screen on their end — which we strongly recommend. Our trademark search and screening provides an initial vetting so that any major conflicts are knocked out early in the process.