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Once again we have looked at all EU and USPTO trademark applications the last year - 2012 - and done a quick analysis of what words are used.
The total number of different "words" are over 130.000. The distribution is as usual: 90 percent are used less than 5 times, like PINTEREST and JABRA, and the top 10 percent are used up to 2000 times, like ONE and LOVE.
Popular USPTO trademark words
What words were popular 2012 when it came to getting a US trademark registration?
A new word on the top list is CLOUD, wich was strong already in 2011 with 372 occurrences and this year made it to the top list when it showed up in 454 trademarks applications. Compare that with 2006, when CLOUD only showed up in 28 trademark applications.
Other trademark words moving up on the list are: WATER, FREE, STAR, BODY an NATIONAL.
Single letters are very popular in trademark filings, like T, N and E. A rising star here is the letter M, which appears in more than 700 trademark applications last year compared to 450 the year before.
Words moving down on the list are GREEN, REAL, USA and SOCIAL.
The top 100 USPTO trademark words 2012:
Note that we have eliminated the most common "stop words" like THE, IS, AT, YOU, AND etc, and some company attributes like INC, LLC, COMPANY and GROUP.
Popular EU trademark words
We have also done a similar analysis of the very popular EU trademark registration called CTM (from OHIM). A CTM (Community Trade Mark) covers 27 countries and many languages. Surprisingly there is not a large difference between the EU trademark list and the US trademarks. English is the dominating language, at least in the in the pan-European trademark registration CTM.
A couple of trademark words you find in the CTM top list that you don't find in the USPTO top list: ECO, HOTEL, LONDON, QUALITY, ROYAL, EASY, EUROPEAN and PARIS.
If you look at all USPTO trademark filings during 2011, you find 130.000 different "words". 90 percent of these words are used less than 5 times, like QUORA and SINGER. But the top 10 percent are used as many as 2000 times, like LIFE and HEALTH.
If you are thinking of a new name for a business or trademark, you should probably avoid all these words. They are so common that they are very weak as trademark components.
The list has few surprises so we compared it with 2006 and found only two new, very common trademark words. Can you guess which ones? (Answer at bottom of blog post)
We also compared this list with a similar list for EU trademarks (CTM/OHIM), but found no major differences.
We have eliminated the most common "stop words" like THE, IS, AT, YOU, AND etc, and some company attributes like INC, COMPANY and GROUP.
The top 100 trademark words 2011:
The two new words on the list of fop 100 trademark words 2011, when compared to 2006, is number 61 and 94. Not very surprising.
In an interview with ArcticStartup I was asked to come up with my best tips to start-ups regarding trademark and their new business name:
1. Choose a name that can be trademarked.
Why? You will avoid conflicts, enable expansion and sleep better. There are two basic requirements on your new trademark:
a) It should not be generic in your business area. The name "CoolApps" is generic if you're going to deliver a new marketplace for apps.
b) No one else should be using a "confusingly similar" trademark in your potential markets. Start your search at markify.com for confusingly similar marks. Avoid all similar marks that are in your line of business. If you are uncertain, contact a trademark attorney.
2. Buy all relevant domain names.
a) For most international start-ups that means a .com. Don't only look for available domain names. Even if the domain name is taken, it often is for sale. Average prices for domain names at auctions are $500
b) Buy 5-10 typos.
c) Buy at least 5-10 country extensions (ccTLDs). Choose the biggest markets where you think you may expand.
3. Register the trademark in your primary market.
In Europe choose the Pan-European CTM trademark, which covers 27 EU countries for a fee of 850 Euros.
In the US a USPTO trademark costs $325.
4. Watch and protect your trademark.
If there is a new confusingly similar application you should act upon it. So sign up for a free trademark watch at Markify.
Don't hesitate to contact me if you think I can help
Benoit Fallenius Founder and CEO
In this blog I will mostly write about two subjects:
1. Trademarks, domain names, naming and branding - Four separate areas that often are not that separate.
2. Markify news - Features, markets, pricing, challenges etc.
Feedback and questions are always welcome. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.