The entire good will and reputation of a company is associated with its name and the names of its products and services. Here are some print and online resources that may help in choosing a name and in learning about the business and legal aspects of trademarks and business names:
Trademark: Legal Care for Your Business and Product Name by Stephen Elias includes step-by-step instructions written in everyday language to guide you in choosing a name, conducting a trademark search, interpreting the results of your search, registering a trademark, understanding trademark law, some “what if” scenarios and information on resolving trademark disputes.
The Small Business Administration’s “Name Your Business” states that there is more to choosing a name than simply finding one that sounds good and that you like. “Thought must be given to state and local requirements and making sure you don’t infringe upon the rights of someone else’s business name.” You’ll find links to an article on how the business structure affects business names, trademark FAQs, the Secretary of State offices, the federal trademark search on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Web site and a brief paragraph on domain names.
The World Intellectual Property Organization presents articles on why trademarks are relevant to the success of a small and medium size enterprise, how to create or select a trademark, and conducting trademark searches.
At Entrepreneur you will find articles on choosing the best name for a business, mistakes to avoid when naming a business, how to protect the name, and why a good business plan can help you name your company.
Wordcraft: the Art of Turning Little Words into Big Business, by Alex Frankel. Which names work and why? How companies name themselves and their products will be explored. You also will learn about the world’s largest naming firm and professional namers, who are responsible for inventing words that eventually become part of our everyday language.
Letterhead + Logo Design 5features 300 innovative letterhead and logo designs by top designers for all kinds of businesses. Each design captures and clearly communicates the personality and identity of the business. A detailed caption describes the designer, the design process, software used, the kind of paper chosen and how it was printed.
How to Design Logos, Symbols and Icons, by Gregory Thomas, presents case studies that illustrate the evolution of logos as they are crafted by top designers for a variety of clients, from small start-ups to large corporations. You will see the whole creative story, which starts with the client briefing, then the early rough and intermediary sketches and on up to the finished design.
Brand Sense: Build Powerful Brands through Touch, Taste, Smell, Sight, and Sound. International business legend, Martin Lindstrom, reveals his innovative 6-step program for brand building in the 21st century. He shows how to establish a marketing approach that appeals to all the senses, so that a distinctive brand will deliver a full sensory experience.
Brand Warfare, 10 Rules for Building the Killer Brand, by David F. D’Alessandro. The question of how to use a brand is addressed in a series of simple principles that brand-builders can use in any market. The author cautions that many companies fail to recognize that a brand includes everything a company does.
eBrands: Building an Internet Business at Breakneck Speed, by Phil Carpenter, is a thoughtful guide to creating truly durable brands in the electronic marketplace. In-depth interviews with more than forty company executives and industry experts reveal successful strategies for building brand awareness.
Why Johnny Can’t Brand, Rediscovering the Lost Art of the Big Idea, by Bill Schley and Carl Nichols, Jr. Why many good companies fail to differentiate their products from their competitors’ products is the question addressed by the author. The surprising answers will be found in this book along with a prescription to fix the problem.
At About.com: Small Business Information, Darrell Zahorsky discusses “The 10 Commandments of a Great Business Name.”
All About Trademarks(R) by Gregory H. Guillot is a Web site that is dedicated to trademarks and trademark law. Learn how trademarks are acquired, protected and used. Explore useful links to related sites.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) offers a searchable database of pending and registered federal trademarks, online filing of a federal trademark and filing instructions.
The Sunnyvale Public Library is a Patent and Trademark Depository Library. Patent and Trademark services include resources for researching patents and trademarks, USPTO trained staff to answer patent and trademark questions and programs on intellectual property.