Common Trademark Mistakes to Avoid in 2023



Trademarks are valuable assets for businesses. They help to identify and distinguish a business’s goods and services from those of its competitors. online Trademark registration in India can also help to build brand awareness and loyalty. However, there are a number of common trademark mistakes that businesses make. By avoiding these mistakes, businesses can protect their trademarks and build strong brands. In this article we will list down some of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to Trademarks.

Common Trademark Mistakes

Mistake #1: Not choosing a distinctive trademark

A trademark must be distinctive to be eligible for registration. This means that it must be able to distinguish the goods and services of one business from those of another.

There are four categories of trademarks:

  • Arbitrary: Arbitrary trademarks are words or symbols that have no inherent meaning in relation to the goods or services they are used for. Examples of arbitrary trademarks include “Apple” for computers and “Nike” for shoes.
  • Suggestive: Suggestive trademarks are words or symbols that suggest something about the goods or services they are used for, but do not directly describe them. Examples of suggestive trademarks include “Tide” for laundry detergent and “Dove” for soap.
  • Descriptive: Descriptive trademarks describe the goods or services they are used for. Examples of descriptive trademarks include “Best Buy” for electronics and “McDonald’s” for fast food.
  • Generic: Generic trademarks are the common names of goods or services. They cannot be registered as trademarks because they are not distinctive. Examples of generic trademarks include “bread” and “chair.”

Businesses should avoid choosing descriptive or generic trademarks, as these trademarks are not eligible for registration.

Mistake #2: Not conducting a trademark search

Performing a trademark search is crucial before selecting a trademark. This search ensures that you do not choose an already registered trademark. You can conduct the search online or with the assistance of a trademark attorney. If another entity has already registered the desired trademark, the business cannot proceed with the registration. Moreover, the business might face legal action for trademark infringement.

Mistake #3: Not using the trademark in commerce

To retain a trademark registration, you have to actively use it in commerce. This means there has to be an association between the registered Trademark and the relevant goods or services. Failure to use the trademark in commerce for three consecutive years may result in the cancellation of the registration.

Mistake #4: Not filing a trademark application correctly

The trademark application process can be complex. It is important to file the trademark application correctly to avoid delays and rejections.

Businesses should consider hiring a trademark attorney to help them file their trademark application.

Mistake #5: Not maintaining the trademark registration

Trademark registrations expire after ten years. In order to maintain a trademark registration, the business must renew the registration every ten years.

If you don’t renew your trademark, the registration expires, then someone else can register that trademark

In addition to the common trademark mistakes listed above, businesses should also avoid the following:

  • Using a trademark that is too similar to an existing trademark. This could lead to trademark infringement claims.
  • Using a trademark that is offensive or disparaging. This could lead to the trademark being refused registration.
  • Using a trademark that is a geographical name or a common symbol. These types of trademarks are not eligible for registration.
  • Using a trademark that is a government seal or symbol. These types of trademarks are also not eligible for registration.

Some additional tips for avoiding common trademark mistakes:

  • Get professional help. If you are unsure about any aspect of the trademark process, consult with a trademark attorney.
  • Do your research. Before choosing a trademark, conduct a thorough trademark search to make sure that the trademark is not already registered by someone else.
  • Be careful what you say. Be mindful of how you use your trademark in public statements and advertisements. Avoid making false or misleading claims about your products or services.
  • Monitor the trademark register. Keep an eye on the trademark register for new trademark applications that could conflict with your trademark. If you see a conflicting trademark application, you can file an opposition to the application.

By following these tips, you can avoid common trademark mistakes and protect your valuable trademarks.


Trademark registration is a necessity in today’s day and age. Knowing how to register a trademark in India while avoiding the common trademark mistakes listed above, businesses can protect their trademarks and also build strong brands. It will also help brands finish their trademark registration quickly without any issues.