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When can trademark limit common terms?

A trademark can help you set apart your brand. When your customers see your trademark, they can instantly know the quality they can expect from their purchase.

It can be a challenge to develop branding that will remain unique to your product. Often, branding terms come from a common term used in a different way. When another business uses your branding on a similar product, it can be frustrating and create product confusion.

Here’s what you should know about using common terms in trademarked product branding.

The war over warzone

In an ongoing case, Activision Publishing, manufacturers of the game “Call of Duty Warzone” argue their right to keep their video game’s current name. The name is opposed by creators of a browser-based game, Warzone.com.

While there is still debate over which publisher began using the term for their game first, Activision further argues that several other games use the word “warzone” in their title and branding.

Common terms in branding

Maintaining a presence in your industry is essential. A trademark helps you protect your branding against confusion in the marketplace. When your potential customers think of your brand name, you want them to think of (and be able to find) your product without distraction from a competitor’s products with similar terms.

An essential part of choosing your branding is looking at what the marketplace already has to offer and trending terms. Although you may have a superior product, your branding should set you apart from others in your industry.