While name creation, clearance and filing are important aspects of the trademark process, there are other elements to consider, too. Looking at the overall process itself, it is clear from this year’s research that technology continues to play a significant role throughout.

Nearly half of trademark professionals (49%) say that technology is one of the primary ways to improve both the research and protection process. This is followed by more resources (46%), bigger budgets (45%), more time (40%) and better collaboration between departments (40%). The prioritization of these elements is in line with last year’s results.

When asked specifically about how technology in the research process could be improved to make the process more efficient, respondents say it could:

These results demonstrate both the appetite for more user-friendly technology, as well as the acknowledgement that there are definite enhancements that can be made. The appetite for the use of technology is also clearly demonstrated in attitudes toward the use of AI. While traditionally AI has been seen as a threat to trademark and IP professionals, the fact remains it has the power to automate time-intensive tasks, perform more quickly and bring new levels of accuracy to the process.

This sentiment is reflected in the results. Respondents say AI would be most
helpful in speeding up the trademark search and watch process, followed by the use of predictive analytics in helping with applications or case outcomes, and in performing redundant tasks.

Back to the beginning: the naming process

Choosing a unique name that encapsulates the brand values and identity is certainly a task that is becoming more challenging. For the most part, this is left to marketing when they conceive ideas for products, solutions and campaigns. There can be different objectives between the marketing and legal teams, however, it appears that these groups are respective of these objectives and we see indications that the
teams are working more closely together.

In the past there was little involvement from trademark professionals early
in the name creation process and with a gap in knowledge around best
practice with legal clearance in mind even if specific tools were used.

When asked about collaboration during the naming process, 42% of
respondents are integral to this naming process, while a further 41% are consulted on an ad-hoc basis. Reassuringly, only 15% say there is little collaboration between themselves and other departments.

In addition, education seems to be a focus around the naming process, too.
Nearly a third of respondents (30%) say they have formalized training programs in place to help educate marketing, 24% have processes in place for working with brand owners, 22% have ad-hoc training in place, and 21% educate as they go.

But there was also acknowledgement that the naming process could be improved in the areas of education and collaboration, as well as others. Technology was identified by 51% of respondents as one of the ways to make the naming process smoother, followed by better communication (47%), involvement of legal from the outset of name creation (41%), and education for people creating the names (38%).

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