Courtney Pearson - What’s in a Name?

November 14, 2018

 

What’s in a name? When it comes to toys… and especially games… a good name can make the difference in a sale or it sitting on your rejection shelf. There are a million ways to brainstorm a name, but what happens when you find one you like? Now is the time to start your name hunt:

 

Google, google, google! It may seem obvious, but not everyone thinks to google their new product’s name. When doing any search, make sure to try different variations in spelling, order, with and without quotation marks, etc. There are billions of things on the internet, so it is likely you will come across a version of the name. You should only avoid the name if the search reveals something big, not if it’s used on a local hair salon.

 

A quick look at UrbanDictionary.com can save you from embarrassment in a meeting.  Content is user generated so you only have to really worry about a matching name if there are a lot of entries using it. Then the term has spread and you should avoid it. Warning: this site can be quite graphic in its definitions. Bigger warning: I once knew an inventor who walked into a meeting with his brand new product line inadvertently named after a very famous “adult” toy.

 

If it’s a game, always take a trip to BoardGameGeek.com. This is the most exhaustive list of game titles I’ve come across. If you find another game with the same name, don’t be discouraged. If it’s one small entry from the 70s, you don’t need to worry. If it has a bigger entry or multiple versions, you might want to avoid it since memories in the toy industry are long.

 

One last check is still in order. Do a trademark search at USPTO.com to see if anyone has registered the name already. The Basic Word Search option is the easiest to navigate. Just put in the name to see what trademarks come up. They will be listed as LIVE or DEAD. You only have to worry about the LIVE ones, no zombie names here. If you find a LIVE one, click it to see in what area the name exists. Only be concerned with ones that are in toys or games or other related fields.

 

If you’ve made it this far and still love the name…Congratulations! Your product has a NAME! Now to design that logo…

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