A trademark is a symbol or name that uniquely identifies a brand and/or its product, and guarantees the authenticity of the symbol. It is a technique which provides an advantage for a brand and the owner of the mark. Why should you protect your video game under the trademark law?
A big advantage is that you own the name indefinitely so long as you continue to make use of it. In addition to this, a video game trademark protects the title and helps in its marketing – and added advantage for consumers, as they make use of a recognized product name. As a consumer realizes that a product is unique to its owner, they feel more inclined to make purchases because there is a level of expectation they may already have for a brand so unique.
Requirements of a Video Game Trademark
For a mark to serve as a trademark, it must be unique – that is, the title or mark must have the capacity to identify the origin or source of a specific product. In determining whether the title of a video game stands out, marks are grouped into four categories. These categories are based on the relationship between the title of the video game and the product. They include:
Generic Product Name
As the name implies, a generic name is a common or general name – one that easily describes the category which the video games falls into. A generic title or mark is not acceptable under trademark laws as they are commonly used to identify a particular product.
Arbitrary Product Name
An arbitrary name is a random name that has no relationship with the product. A typical example of an arbitrary product name is Apple. Its name and symbol has no relationship with phones, computers, or even technology as a whole. Therefore, arbitrary marks are considered distinctive and with very strong degree of trademark protection.
Suggestive Product Name
A suggestive product name is one that offers an idea of the underlying product. Although it may not specifically describe the product in question, there is a connection between the mark and the product. Suggestive product names also receive a great level of trademark protection.
Descriptive Product Name
As the name implies, a descriptive product name is one that clearly defines product. However, a descriptive mark does not receive a high level of trademark protection as it is not considered distinctive.
With hundreds of video games and apps uploaded to online stores each day, it would hardly be surprising to find a mark overlap on similar products. Hence, registering your game title is now even more important as it protects you from infringement by trademark bullies, giving you the right to file a lawsuit where necessary. It also acts as a caution for potential clones of your video games – indeed, it helps to preserve the distinct nature of your brand.