Perils of Choosing a Descriptive Trademark for a Brand

Selecting a trademark might be challenging for businesses applying for trademark registration in the UAE. Young businesses that try to establish themselves in the market often flunk the importance of selecting a strong trademark. Fanciful trademarks are the strongest in the spectrum of trademark strength while descriptive marks are considered the weakest.

Small businesses often select descriptive trademarks thinking that such trademarks will easily communicate with potential consumers. However, the perils of choosing descriptive trademarks are plenty and it may even lead to the rejection of your trademark application. Trademark agents in the UAE can help you assess the strength of your trademark and show the way forward. Read on to learn more about the perils of choosing a descriptive trademark for your brand:

What is a descriptive trademark?

A descriptive trademark merely describes a product or its ingredient, quality, characteristic, function, feature, purpose or use. COLD AND CREAMY for an ice cream product is an example of a descriptive trademark. Consult with trademark agents in the UAE to assess whether your proposed mark is descriptive or not.

Perils of Selecting a Descriptive trademark for your Brand

Brand owners are advised to avoid selecting a descriptive trademark for the following reasons:

Not Eligible for Trademark Registration in the UAE

IP offices of most jurisdictions including in the UAE do not accept the registration of descriptive trademarks. The UAE Trademark Office will reject applications for trademarks that are highly descriptive or merely descriptive of the goods or services. If rejected, you may have to come up with a new brand name for your trademark, which can be a waste of your time.

Descriptive Trademarks are Weak Marks

Trademarks are classified along a spectrum ranging from marks that are highly distinctive (fanciful) to those that are highly descriptive. Descriptive trademarks are considered weak marks until they are able to develop a secondary meaning. Descriptive marks are weaker because they lack the ability to accurately indicate their source and distinguish one product or service from another product or service.

For example, a face cream brand that offers to protect your skin from tanning will not be able to get protection for the trademark “TAN SHIELD” as it directly describes the purpose of the product. The term “Tan Shield” is also relevant for all the other creams in the mark used for the same purpose. Therefore, descriptive trademarks offer the lowest level of protection for brands.

The Registration Process May Cost More

If you are attempting to register a descriptive trademark in the UAE, you are going to face an uphill battle. The UAE Trademark Office will reject it for being merely descriptive of the identified goods or services. The applicant will have to submit a substantive argument to persuade the examiner that the mark is not merely descriptive. The process can cost you more in terms of money and time. If your mark gets the final refusal, you may have to rebrand your product and come up with a new brand name. The rebranding will also cost you more money.

Consumers May Not Remember Your Brand

If you select a common or descriptive term for your trademark, it is likely that the relevant purchaser will not remember your brand. In fact, you may fail at identifying and distinguishing your goods from those manufactured and sold by others. On the other hand, a distinctive mark will make a strong first impression and remain etched in the memory of a consumer.

The reasoning is that it will have no other meaning besides the meaning given by your products or services. Examples of distinctive marks are STARBUCKS, ROLEX and EXXON. If there are no other meanings for the term in the marketplace, then upon hearing the trademark the consumer will think only of your goods or services.

Your Marketing and Advertising Costs Will Increase

In order to build an association in the consumers’ minds with the source and the trademark, the trademark owner must have a considerable budget for marketing and advertising. To achieve acquired distinctiveness, the primary significance of the trademark in the minds of the consumers must be the source of the goods or services.

Hire the Best Trademark Agents in the UAE

Businesses must avoid selecting descriptive trademarks while applying for trademark registration in the UAE. However, trademark agents in the UAE such as Jitendra Intellectual Property (JIP) can assess the strength of your proposed mark and advise you on its registrability. JIP is one of the leading providers of trademark services in Dubai with years of experience. Our team is highly qualified and fully equipped to successfully carry out trademark registration, renewal, trademark search and watch services. JIP also deals with international trademark registration through the Madrid Protocol. Secure your trademark with our dedicated trademark agents in the UAE.

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