In order of strength, from weakest to strongest, here are the main categories of trademarks:

  • DESCRIPTIVE NAMES [weak]: Family Dentistry, Auto Repair, Quick Print
  • SUGGESTIVE NAMES [strong]: Staples, Geek Squad, Curves
  • ARBITRARY NAMES [stronger]: Apple, Caribou, Target
  • COINED NAMES [strongest]: Kodak, Thrivent, Sony


Note that the more a brand name implies the actual product or service it represents, the weaker the trademark. There's enough inherent risk in starting a business or launching a brand. Why take additional risk by trying to market a brand name you cannot own? Instead, freeze the surety of your investment at the start. Create a strong coined name.