If you are starting a company or a new line of products, you can pick a name or logo with an eye toward the trademark ramifications.
This is a great scenario. Clients who have been using names for years and have invested significant capital in those names are sometimes disturbed to find that their names are not eligible for trademark registration because they aren’t distinctive enough. On the other hand, some clients initially made great choices in selecting their names and have been using ones that are easy to get through the Trademark Office.
To borrow an expression from a friend, you want to be in the driver’s seat when you submit an application to the Patent and Trademark Office. Do this by adopting a name from the outset that isn’t going to be problematic – one that isn’t generic or descriptive of the goods or services you provide. Pick a name that is more creative or distinctive. I’ve written a short pamphlet describing how to pick a great trademark – get it here.