Product Names and Trademarks

Inventor Lady

How do you “name” your product?  I have written about trademarks before and this topic comes up frequently in new product discussions.  The name you give your product is very important to your economic success.

Most inventors don’t have millions of dollars to spend branding and marketing a unique name.  Having to educate the consumer is very expensive.  The example I often use is “Apple Computers”.  Forty years ago, no one looked under “apple” in the phone book to find a computer.  Now if you say “Apple”, the first thing a person considers is a computer.  Keep in mind that millions of dollars were spent educating the public that an apple was no longer just a fruit to eat.

You have to consider four things when naming a product.

  1.  Will the trademark office approve it?
  2.  Can you get the .com url address for it?
  3.  If you “googled” the product’s name, would your website link pop-up at all?
  4.  Based on the name, how easy (or difficult) will it be to get your product’s website to appear near the top of  Google’s page ranking system?

A good name is one that satisfies all of the first three items, and does a reasonably good job of helping with the fourth item.

It’s important to remember throughout the naming process that selection of a name for the product has dollar consequences.  You can license a good trademark and receive royalties past the life of the patent.  The consumer identifies with your name not a patent number.  That is why, once the patent expires, the trademark still has value. 

Spend time working on the name of your product.  Have a focus group.  Trying to re-brand a product later on is expensive and difficult.  Take the time now to get it right.  Gather all possible words that can be used and work with them until you find a “wow” name.  You will be glad you did.

Skip to content