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Sunday, 8 May 2005

SILLY NAMES, SILLIER PATENT?

The IPKat found this curiosity via Snark Hunting the naming and branding blog. Zenmark Brand Engineering, Inc. says the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has "received and acknowledged" its patent application for a "unique and innovative creative development process" in the area of product, service and company naming. It claims this process has been proved to "revolutionise the naming industry" by applying a "rigorous and repeatable methodology to the often unstructured and undisciplined process of brand name creation". It adds:
"In today's competitive economy, it is increasingly difficult for companies to find unique, effective and legally available names. Unlike most naming firms, Zenmark takes a disciplined, engineering-based approach that achieves the highest quality creative product with an intense screening process. This process assures that Zenmark's clients are presented with high-quality choices that have the highest legal likelihood of being available to put into use. ... Our engineered approach combines art with science, which is entirely new to naming. By adding scientific scrutiny to the process of legal analysis, linguistic assessment and market testing, it gives clients more confidence that the names they ultimately choose will be the ideal vessels for their verbal identity and the most solid infrastructure for building brand equity".
The IPKat raises a quizzical whisker at this. He recalls that Interbrand was using computers to aid its generation of brands back in the 1980s (when Interbrand was still called Novamark) and wonders how Zenmark claims to have made an advance over the prior art. Snark Hunting lists some names created by Zenmark together with those of some of its competitors ("The names of the naming companies are in bold; the names each has created using their own process are not so bold") and adds:
"On what evidence will the patent office decide that Zenmark Brand Engineering, Inc. has a process that is uniquely different than its competitors? By asking all of the naming companies listed above to supply their processes for comparison? Unlikely. Surely not from comparing the resulting names, as that would lead anyone to the conclusion that all of these naming companies have exactly the same process in place".
Some Zenmark names here: Amicore, Afaria, Applimation, Azenity, Certiport, Coalogic, Palaterra, Phyve.
More silly names here and here

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Its a shame that companies need to outsource to others to "find unique, effective and legally available names". Do they not have a modicum of creativity themselves?

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